November readings offer us insights and challenges as we close out the Church year. Let’s see what they recommend so we can wisely prepare for his coming not only at the end times but in our daily lives until our own death and particular judgment.
We celebrate All Souls Day to remember loved ones who have died. St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Thessalonians to have hope for “if we believe that Christ Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Therefore console each other with these words. Remember hope does not disappoint!”
Several readings focus on the value of Wisdom, “resplendent and unfading.” Wisdom is stronger than intelligence and teaches us how to live in right relationship with God. In the beatitudes, Christ specifically tells us the wisest and most fulfilling ways to live our faith. Live wisely!
Matthew tells the story of the wise bridesmaids who had extra oil for their lamps in case they had to wait a long time for the bridegroom to come to celebrate. But the foolish bridesmaids did not plan ahead and were left out of the celebration. So the lesson here is we must be faithful and watchful in our efforts to live as Jesus tells us for we do not know when the hour of our passing will come. Be prepared!
Being prepared is not being passive as seen in the parable of the talents. The two servants who gave a good return on the gifts entrusted to them earned the accolade “Well done good and faithful servants.” Whereas the “wicked” servant, who through fear, squandered the master’s gift, is fired and the relationship with the master is broken.
People are held accountable to actively use the gifts they have given not hide them.
In answer to the question “Am I ready for the Coming of the Lord?” the readings advise us to be hopeful, to be prepared, to use the God given talents we have and to live wisely. Won’t you take this powerful advice as to how to live righteously while waiting for the Lord and ultimately earn the accolade “Well done good and faithful servant?”