Bottom line: Stewardship that flows from prayer puts oil in our lamps.
In Fire Starters Bishop Sklba observes: "A New Testament parable is usually an instruction about how God works in our world, with its primary focus on God." Today's parable about the ten virgins in the wedding party teaches that God arrives at unexpected moments. He depends on our partnership and expects us to be prepared.
That's what we are talking about this month: Our partnership with God, also known as co-responsibility or Stewardship. In terms of the parable Stewardship means having oil for our lamps. The oil represents readiness - using our resources for what matters most: being ready to meet the bridegroom, Jesus himself.
And how do we get ready to meet Jesus? If we pay close attention to the parable the answer is simple, perhaps so simple we miss it: prayer. After welcoming the wise virgins, he tells the foolish, "I do not know you." In the Bible knowledge implies intimacy. Adam knew his wife, Eve, and they conceived a son. (Gen 4:1) God wants to have an intimate relationship with us: soul, mind and body. For that reason he gives us sacraments - the water of baptism, the bread and wine of the Eucharist and the oil of Confirmation.
Just as prayer involves soul, mind and body, Stewardship embraces all aspects of our lives: time, abilities and material resources. Stewardship that flows from prayer puts oil in our lamps.
The wise virgins cannot share with foolish ones because each person must purchase their own oil. You have talents that I do not have. Your time and your money belongs to you. Or to be more exact God has given time and financial resources for you to manage.
To devote those resources to Jesus' Church and to needy brothers and sisters brings joy. As our Psalm says, "In the shadow of your wings I shout for joy." To witness to that experience of Stewardship I now ask you to give full attention to ____________
From Archives (Thirty-Second Ordinary Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru