When I read today’s Gospel (the parable of the five foolish and the five wise virgins awaiting the wedding feast), I react as I have all the times when I have read this Gospel and/or heard it at Sunday Mass. It is a call for positive spiritual behaviors. It is a call to always be prepared. It is a call to be prepared for death by being in a state of grace – for we “know neither the day nor the hour.” If we practice spiritual behaviors daily, we will not experience the anxiety nor the negative outcome of the five foolish virgins. This Gospel resonates with a similar message in the Reading, i.e., we are exhorted to “conduct yourselves to please God.” We are all well versed in knowing the spiritual behaviors that we should practice daily to be pleasing to God. The challenge is to avoid a mentality of “but just this one day” I’ll practice the behaviors of the foolish versus wise virgins. Some days are more challenging to be the kind of “pleasing to God” spiritual persons we want and intend to be.
Writing a Daily Reflection forces me to think deeper and longer on the Readings of the day. I do so without relying on others’ interpretation of the Readings – which has both its limitations and strengths. For example, in the paragraph above, I write how I have always read and interpreted this Gospel passage. I have always read it from the perspective of “this is what I should do.” This week, though, I put myself more deeply in the persona of both the foolish and the wise virgins. And, I ask the question, what about the behavior of generosity? Could the wise virgins have been more generous and shared? Could the wise virgins have been more pro-active in their advice with the foolish virgins? Could this outcome have been prevented? Are we our brother’s and sister’s keeper? How much and how far should the wise virgins have extended themselves to the foolish virgins? Could there have been a win/win situation for all? If we are the “wise virgins,” what are we called to do when experiencing “foolish virgins” in our lives in 2007?
I have no answers. But, the questions will now remain with me.
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