Memorial of St Cecilia.

Hosea 2:16,17,21-22
Matthew 25:1-13


There are two sets of readings for today, the regular daily readings preparing for the end of the Liturgical year and the memorial of St Cecilia. The daily readings contain the usual warnings of doom and gloom that reminds us that God should be the focus of our lives because the end is near.

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year, I need some encouragement and support.  The doom and gloom are all around us, so I looked to Hosea, who uses comforting words like integrity and justice, tenderness, and love to remind us that through a loving relationship, we will come to know God. The comfort doesn’t last, of course, because the Gospel tells the story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids, and I am faced with the dilemma of which group I belong to. As much as I want to be the one who is prepared, thoughtful and wise, I know the optimist in me thinks that all will be well, and I can manage in a crisis.

If we did a little deeper, I think Jesus’ message is not really about anticipating a crisis, and wisdom and foolishness are not about having enough oil.  I think we are being asked to be ready to fulfil our duties as Christians, in love and service, with tenderness and love, as Hosea said, working for justice and living in integrity, just as Cecilia did.

Margaret Bentley is a Salesian Sister and is currently the Academic Manager at the English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM) begun by the Passionists in 2014 to enable their students to learn English before continuing to the Novitiate or theological studies.