In the Philippines, in most marriages I have solemnized, the bride always arrives late from thirty minutes onwards. Very rare have I observed that the groom was late. In fact there were times when the groom was already there way ahead of me. What the Gospel just narrated is a different story. The bridegroom’s arrival was long delayed. And when finally the coming was announced, two groups of bridesmaids emerged as wise and foolish. Wise were those who brought extra oil with them and foolish indeed were those who did not.

In our long journey in life, there are times when we become foolish due to lack of foresight. We tend to be contented to what is just enough. This is the ‘that is enough’ mentality. As long as there is something that is okay, we do not care for bigger things any further. Unfortunately, as a result, very few endeavor to have the most important thing one can have in life – WISDOM.

The 1st reading presents ‘wisdom’ as beauty personified available to all. She is a gift from God given to those who seek her. She is all we need to be on the side of the virgins who have good foresight and thus were admitted into the wedding feast. Jesus in the Gospel is inviting us to have a forward-looking disposition in life by prudently desiring the best our heart can choose. Wisdom is a choice to do all it takes to enter the Kingdom of God. It is good to know that St. Thomas Aquinas prayed day and night for such wisdom. He prayed something like this..."Lord, help me change my bad habits, grant me the courage to accept the things I cannot change, and the ‘wisdom’ to know the difference.”

As we draw the Liturgical Year to a close, the Church, through the scriptural readings, invites us to contemplate on the end-times. How and when that will be, we do not know for sure. But today we are shown the best way through the example of preparedness demonstrated by the five wise virgins in the parable of Jesus. In the same way we should engage in having good foresight and persevering good works to keep our faith alive. Here St. Augustine’s advice becomes very handy: “Pray as though everything depends on God and act as though everything depends on you.” This is the best way to make ourselves ready and prepared for the Lord, no matter when the Lord chooses to come. In short: Always Be Prepared! “Semper Paratus!! Amen. Amen.

#17 A JOKE FROM ST. JOE: On their Golden Wedding Anniversary, the couple was asked by their Pastor to reveal the secret of their long lasting relationship. The husband replied, “Father, we divide the day into two. In the first half of the day, I let her do what she wants. And in the second of the day I do what she wants me to do. And now, we are in our senior years, our love is still enduring."

In this second week of November, we have only two important memorials: of Ss. Frances Xavier Cabrini on the 13th and on the 17th, Elizabeth of Hungary are celebrated. And the rest are optional memorials of other Saints: St. Albert the Great, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Gertrude and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God Bless.

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie