Friday of the 21st Week of Ordinary Time

Today's readings

Today, again, we continue our look at what the Christian disciple looks like. Today's readings give us two more good descriptions.

In the first reading, the Christian disciple is foolish! Or, at least, the disciple is foolish in the eyes of the world. St. Paul tells us in great detail that the wisdom of men and women in the world, however great it may be, is nothing in comparison to the wisdom of God. It is God who created the world and all its wonders, and it is God who knows the depths of the human heart. So often we are confounded by the mysteries of life: why do people get sick, and why do they die? Why is do people suffer? It all seems so foolish to us, with our limited vision. But God's vision is vast and comprehensive: God alone has the big picture. Because God created us, and created the world and all its wonders, God knows how it all should work, and what will happen to it, and what it will all become. The Christian disciple, Paul tells us, lets God be God and recognizes that our own limited knowledge can never lead us to the Kingdom. The Christian disciple may be foolish in the eyes of the world, but the Christian disciple knows that God's wisdom is so much more precious than anything the world may try to pass off as wisdom.

In the Gospel reading, the Christian disciple is not foolish! Much like yesterday's Gospel, today's Gospel paints a portrait of the Christian disciple as one who is ready for the coming of the Master. The difference in today's story is that the Christian disciple, like the wise virgins, not only look's for the Master's return, but is actually prepared to welcome him. The foolish virgins were of utter contempt because they had one specific purpose, to light the way for the Bridegroom. Journeys in that day took time, and people would often be delayed. It only stood to reason that they would have procured extra lamp oil and brought it with them. But for some reason they were distracted. Whatever it was that distracted them, it succeeded in deterring them from their purpose and left them locked out of the banquet. Let nothing ever deter the Christian disciple from his or her one mission: to light the way to Christ in everything that they do. God forbid the disciple would be deterred from the mission and end up locked out of the wedding feast that God provides.

We've seen in these last few days what the Christian disciple looks like. The disciple is not disorderly and lazy, but works tenaciously. Their lives are marked by authenticity and righteousness that permeates from a grateful heart. They are hard at the Lord's work and are prepared to meet the Christ the Bridegroom when he returns. They look for God's purposes to guide them through life, regardless of how foolish it may make them look to the world. What is it that we see when we look at ourselves? May it be our prayer that every time we take a look at ourselves, we look more and more like disciples of Jesus Christ.