People often ask me “Brother Bob, do you think that these are the “end times”? Or sometimes they ask if I think that these are the “last days”? When I was bouncing from church to church, many of my protestant friends were always looking for “signs” of the end times. The Catholic Church was different. They taught that we should not be concerned with these things, but rather focus our attention on today. No one knows when they are going to die. If I were to take two steps and drop dead of a massive heart attack (God forbid), then it was the end times for me.
The same is true with all of us, which brings me to this week’s readings which are exactly about these things. Our first reading from Wisdom is indeed about wisdom. It is about being wise and longing for wisdom and treating it with respect. St. Paul talks about this to the Thessalonians who are concerned about their loved ones who died before Christ.
I, as a Jewish convert, also felt this concern for my loved ones who died without accepting Christ. Were they doomed? St. Paul tells us that the dead in Christ will rise first as God Himself, with the voice of an Archangel, will take those to Himself. God is the judge not us. These words were to comfort those who lost loved ones.
Finally our Lord gives us the story of the ten virgins. Five were prepared and five were not. The basic question still remains the same today. Are we prepared? If our lives were to end today are we ready for judgment? Chances are that we are not ready. This is why I love our Church’s teaching on Purgatory. This is a part of Heaven where we are to be cleansed of venial sin and prepared to enter into the beatific vision and wedding feast of our Lord. Like all weddings we need to be cleaned up and so we spend time in purgation of any venial sin still clinging to us. If we are in Mortal sin then we need the Sacrament of Reconciliation in this life. This is why I stress this Sacrament so much. We do not want to die in mortal sin. So fix it now!
This week heed our Lord’s advice. Prepare your lamp with the oil found in Reconciliation and then you will be ready should the bridegroom return for you this day. Be wise. Something to think about. May God richly bless you always!