Fr Dom's Homily
Year A 2020
Fr Dominic Orih
The spiritual life is one driven by God’s quest for us. It may seem that we are in the driving seat, doing everything out of our own power and strength and initiative, but it is God who is stirring our hearts and rousing us up to the intimations of the Spirit. The fact that we have the feelings and initiative and longings for deeper meaning and life, is a pointer of how God is taking care of us, for the desire itself is a gift from God.
In our First Reading today from the book of Wisdom, it says that Wisdom is bright and does not grow dim, it is seen by those who love her and found by those who look for her. They can only desire her (Wisdom) because Wisdom is quick to anticipate those desires and make herself known to them. There’s something at play here. Wisdom is personified as a woman in the Bible, and one would say, it is because of the way Wisdom nurtures to growth all those who embrace her in their lives. The intimation to seek wisdom, to desire God, to live meaningfully, are all a gift from God. There is the Capax Dei (capacity for God) in us to relate to the Divine and participate in the Divine life of Grace. Wisdom is quick to anticipate those who desire her, she makes herself known to them. The key word here is of course, anticipate. God anticipates our longing for God, because as Richard Rohr would say, the God in us helps us to see and understands the things of God.
Once we are attuned to that Desire that desires us, to that Love that loves us and wills us into being, we become aware of the God who constantly chooses us and draws us to God-self. What all these demand from us is simply a response. A response is when we say yes to the Divine tugging’s in our hearts. It is when we wake up to the truth about who we really are in the eyes of God; it is when we are drawn to the stirrings of the Deep Waters of our soul, to the Christ Wisdom that speaks truth in our hearts, truth about our identity, and truth about participating in the exuberance of the Divine life that is available to us right here, right now, amidst everything that is going on in our lives. God is the one that chooses, and your response is simply to wake up that primal foundation of being chosen to walk in the way of the inner Christ Wisdom that speaks in your heart.
This is why it says in our First Reading, “Watch for her early and you will have no trouble; be on the alert for her and anxiety will quickly leave you. She herself walks about looking for those who are worthy of her and graciously shows herself to them as they go, in every thought of theirs coming to meet them.” Once you are open to Wisdom, Wisdom finds you and delights in you. The foolish person disdains Wisdom, and that is punishment in itself. But the person of Wisdom, lives with prudence. Like it says in Proverbs 1: 32, “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;” but then in verse 33 it portrays the saving Grace of Wisdom to those who embrace her in their lives, “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” This is the key to understanding our Gospel reading today.
In our Gospel Reading, Jesus gave a parable of the Ten Virgins who waited for the coming of the Bridegroom. Five of the Virgins were wise enough to come with extra oil for their lamps, whereas the other five were foolish not to come with extra oil for their lamps. Towards midnight, the bridegroom finally arrived but the foolish virgins had gone away in search of some oil for their lamps, because the wise virgins had refused to share their oil with them. When they arrived and wanted to get into the wedding hall, they couldn’t be let in because the bridegroom had shut the door and said that he did not know them. As shocking as this may sound to us, this parable is a symbolic representation of what happens in our lives when we disdain Wisdom and shun her in our life. It is as if we are closed down from participating in the exuberance of the Divine life that is available to us; we are closed down from entering the “wedding hall”. We don’t have enough oil to sustain our lamp which produces light. Light is that which helps us to see better. In the bible, light is symbolic of Wisdom, enlightenment, the Divine life. Wisdom helps us to see better and live better. We take ourselves out of the wedding hall, willowing in darkness, and we are missing out in participating in the exuberance of the Divine life. The good news is, God is still choosing us now, reaching out to us now and calling us to God-self.
So, my dear friends, may you tune in to the Capax Dei in you, and embrace Wisdom in your life. She is calling you!
And May God bless you!