Memorial of Saint Augustine

Jesus told his disciples this parable:

The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 
Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!’ 
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’ 
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ 
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. 
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ 
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 
Therefore, stay awake,for you know neither the day nor the hour.

— Matthew 25:1-13

The peace of the Lord be with you. In his book Further Along the Road Less Travelled, M. Scott Peck talks about his discomfort about offering a reflection on this passage at a retreat he was co-facilitating. He said he never liked this parable, but because he was tasked with the reflection he had to sit with this parable. As he sat with it, it occurred to him that the parable speaks to the fact that we cannot do another persons preparation. To be prepared everyone has to do their share of the work. God opens the door and offers us grace to aid us, but God cannot make a person study, meditate, and pray. This has to be our investment to deepen our relationship with God and nurture our souls to live in His life. This is vitally important, as we are almost constantly bombarded by misinformation and half truths that can leads us away from God’s truth. This preparation not only protects us, but also helps us to see the many ways that God’s glory is still showering the world in our time. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Friday, August 28, 2020