Sunday, Nov. 8th 2020

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

Our Gospel today can offer a very practical plan for navigating important relationships. The relationship between the virgins and bridegroom can teach us both what to do and not to do. Let’s take each part of the story and find out what we can learn.

First, the virgins prepared for the coming of the bridegroom. The five wise virgins prepared by bringing plenty of oil, the unwise, barely any. Any fruitful relationship takes preparation. You cannot rush into a relationship blind or unprepared and expect it to work well. We need to grow in maturity, self-confidence, and self-knowledge; have a desire to know and appreciate others, and be willing to sacrifice for the sake of the relationship—to have plenty of oil to burn.

What are you doing to help prepare you to receive and be in a fruitful relationship when it comes?

Second, the virgins had to wait. Every relationship takes time to develop into something fruitful. Much like a plant growing from seed, it takes time to have a well-prepared soil; it takes time to have the seed germinate, to grow into full bloom, and its fruit to ripen. If we are impatient with the plant we risk destroying it. The very same with our relationships. If we are impatient with ourselves, with the other, with God, whomever, we risk destroying that relationship.

Are you being patient with how a relationship is growing? Are you willing to wait for the bridegroom to come?

Lastly, the virgins eventually hear, “Behold, the bridegroom,” and those who were properly prepared and who patiently waited were able to refill their oil lamps and joyfully greet the bridegroom. As relationships grow and mature we must consistently nurture it, we must refill the relationship and put back into it our very selves. This means good communication, prayer, forgiveness, joy, and love; this is the oil that burns brightly.

What have you done to refill the oil of your relationship? Have you been good at offering fruitful communication, prayer, forgiveness, joy, and love to the other person in the relationship?

Take this parable of the virgins to heart if you wish to have fruitful relationships in your life: prepare yourself to receive and give to another, be willing to wait and be patient for the relationship to grow and bear fruit, and refill the relationship with an abundance of love.

Reflection by Fr. Etienne Huard, OSB

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