Date: Sunday, November 12, 2017
The parable of the 10 virgins (5 wise and 5 foolish) waiting for the bridegroom seems strange to our contemporary ears but understanding wedding customs at the time of Jesus can give us a better appreciation of the story. The archeological excavation of Simon “Peter’s house” in Capernaum gives us an insight into the family unit. Jonah and his wife, his sons Simon Peter and Andrew and their families likely lived together sharing a common courtyard for preparing food. Before a son’s wedding, the bridegroom goes to the house of the bride who is still living with her father and mother. He then brings her to his house. In the parable of Jesus the 10 virgins are likely the groom’s younger sisters and cousins who excitedly are waiting for the husband and his wife to return. The surprise in the parable is the delay! We may ask: “Why do the five virgins not share flasks of oil with the five others?” “Oil” simply cannot be shared! “Oil” in the parable is a metaphor for virtue, good deeds and readiness. It is the oil of wisdom, openness and perseverance. When Jesus first tells the parable listeners are encouraged to be aware of and to welcome the Kingdom of Heaven coming to them in the person and preaching of Jesus. Similar to other parables, many are invited to the wedding feast but even among those who accept the invitation there are some who are not ready to enter the banquet.
It is time for personal and communal accounting i.e. taking an inventory. Are we ready to welcome Jesus? Are we conducting our affairs worthy of the calling that we have received? Larry Zielinski (Chair, Finance Committee) is giving our annual fiscal report today. Listen attentively. It is a positive report. You can discern from the figures/assets/liabilities how we prioritize our resources to realize our mission. Unlike some parishes we have only one fundraiser – the picnic. We are inaugurating a new fundraiser called The Youth Big Board. It will enable us to augment our Family Faith Formation programs by making it possible for our teens to go on confirmation retreats, to Catholic faith summer camps and to take trips to Steubenville University. These are faith-trans-formative events. During the month of November our remembrance book is near the tabernacle so you can write the names of loved ones who have gone before us to the heavenly banquet of God’s mercy. We have a responsibility to them to share our Catholic faith with a younger generation as they shared the gift of faith with us.