If God speaks to you right now and says, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (cf. 1Kings 3:5), what would be your answer? Will you struggle, unable to decide? King Solomon, inherited the throne from his father David. God asked him this question in a dream, and he had the answer ready. He asked for Wisdom, not of man but of God. And we know how much it pleased God and how he ended up receiving Wisdom in abundance, and along with it, everything he did not ask too, namely wealth, honour and long life.
Today’s First Reading is a beautiful description of God’s Wisdom. The Bible says that whoever gets up early to seek Wisdom, will have no trouble but will find her sitting at the door; waiting to be found. (Wisdom 6:15). Further it says that anyone keeping awake for Wisdom will soon be free from care, worry and anxiety. What is this Wisdom that the author speaks about so ardently? Those who embrace God’s Wisdom as the most desired treasure in life embrace the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit shows us God’s perspective for every life situation and thus we begin to live with a clear mind, free of unnecessary clutter and confusion.
God is more than willing to impart His Wisdom to anyone who desires to receive. He does not try to hide from us, if we seek His Wisdom. If so, why do we make wrong judgments and fall into a mess many a time? The Lord speaks to us about the essential part of our daily routine that we need to develop and strengthen, namely our daily quiet time with Him. That is when His Wisdom is imparted to us, specially through His Word.
The Gospel proclamation is another narrative of the value of Wisdom. If we choose to read this parable as a mere story, we could conclude that the five ‘wise’ virgins were sensible enough to be prepared, and were saved from embarrassment. Yet if we take this passage to prayer and read through it under the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the lessons become more profound. The Lord Jesus starts the parable as “at that time, the Kingdom of heaven will be..”. He is speaking to us about a new realm.
We are like those ten virgins, who waited impatiently for the bridegroom to arrive and the wedding festivities to begin. They had dressed up and were ready to go, their lamps burning bright.
As we reflect on this parable, we realise that this life is a period of waiting or transit, to begin eternal life in heaven, to join the ongoing celebrations in the company of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. How are we waiting? Do we have enough oil to keep our lamps burning continuously? Are we doing only the minimum necessary, out of obligation to prepare for eternity? Do we fall asleep, becoming comfortable in worldly pleasures? Or do we even think anything beyond this life, for fear of the unknown journey ahead?
Oil in Scripture is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, who keeps our lamps burning. We received this great gift at our Baptism. Have we been re-filling the jars of oil, keeping them full, or are we running low? How do we know if we are running low in the Spirit’s Presence? Galatians 3:22-23 tells us how to measure the supply of oil. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The Holy Spirit makes us a new creation as promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17, changing our perspective of life, empowering us to live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Word of God becomes more real to us than what our senses tell us. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2). In all circumstances, we choose to take on life as victors, as God’s children, rather than as victims of circumstances. The Second Reading is about this new perspective, even with regard to death. As Christians we cannot look at death as the final loss or end.
One person caused someone a huge financial loss. He wanted to react in the worldly ‘wisdom’, but heard the voice of the Spirit giving him a choice. He could consider that he gave it to the other person. He chose to be a cheerful giver as in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, and he and his wife prayed for this person and blessed him. Ten days later, a couple from another state dropped by and gave them a card and left. When they opened it, there was a cheque to the exact amount that they lost! Being believers of the Word, and knowing God’s generosity to those who do His will, they knew that it was just the first instalment of a hundredfold return.
Prayer: Abba Father, I choose to let go of worldly treasures to possess You and to be possessed by You. Amen.
Source: On our Knees publication (November Edition)