November 12, 2020
We are quickly approaching the end of the Liturgical Year and our readings lead us to thoughts of the end time, i.e., The Day of the Lord is coming! Our second reading 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 tells us that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. As labour pains come upon a pregnant woman so will be the cataclysmic Day of the Lord or perhaps first for many: our personal day of the Lord. We are not called to be afraid of the darkness or not knowing the time or the hour but we are called to live as children of the light and children of the day. However, the caution is given not to fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
Our first reading comes to us from the book of Proverbs 31: 10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31 and it begins with the question: “A capable wife, who can find her?” It then goes on to extoll the virtues of a woman would be a capable wife. Jewels don’t hold a candle to her worth! She would be trustworthy. She does good and not harm. She is not idle but seeks to be busy about important matters. She is not afraid of hard work and commitment. She acknowledges that her strength comes from the Lord. Unlike the foolish bridesmaids, her lamb does not go out at night. She is moved by the pleas of the poor and needy. She speaks wise and kind words. Others are able to see her virtues and they celebrate them with her. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, i.e., lives in wonder and awe, is to be praised. It speaks about the qualities that a person needs to be “awake and sober” and ready for the Day of the Lord to arrive.
Our Gospel Matthew 25:14-30 is the parable that Jesus tells his disciples about the man going on a journey who summons his slaves and entrusts his property to them: to one, five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his ability. We are familiar with the story that the first two double their talents while the one with one talent was afraid, went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. The master is of course pleased with the first two but enraged with the wicked and lazy slave with the one talent and throws him into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The story may seem harsh however it is a reminder that all we have is a gift from God. All we have and are belongs to God and God will expect an account from us of how we used the gifts, talents and abilities that he has given to us. For they really are his not ours.
The common theme is light and darkness in the readings. In our first reading the capable wife does not let her lamp go out. Our second reading calls us not to live in darkness but to be children of the light. Finally our Gospel reading has those who doubled their talents living in the light where as the one who hid his talent cast into the outer darkness. By virtue of our Baptism we are children of the Light. The light of Christ has been given to us to be kept burning brightly. How are we living as children who prefer darkness? Let us ask for pardon and forgiveness. How are we living as children of the light? Let us praise God for grace to life in this way. How are we letting our Christ light shine? How can I let more of it shine? Important questions to ask since the Day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night.