by Sister Elise Cholewinski
“Behold the Bridegroom! Come out to meet him!”
I remember the summer evening, a long time ago, when my sister and I returned home after playing tennis. Our mother told us that while we were gone a friend from college had called. She was taking a course in children’s literature, and as part of the course she was assigned the reading of 75 children’s books and the writing of a summary of each book on a note card. She really felt pressured and knew that we had already taken the course and done well in it. Could she possibly borrow all of our note cards? I recall the irritation I felt by this request, aware of how much time and effort went into completing that project. She did not get the cards.
In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the 10 virgins awaiting the return of the bridegroom. Five brought oil to keep their lamps burning and were prepared for his arrival. The other five brought no oil and were depending on the wise virgins to rescue them. That didn’t happen. The foolish virgins had to fend for themselves and, in the end, were left outside the door.
This parable presents us with several questions:
"When must I challenge people to do their own work in order to develop a deeper relationship with God?"
This question assumes that 'those in authority' actually WANT people to 'do their own work' in 'develop(ing) a deeper relationship with God.' For too long, 'authority' has discouraged the process of learning-to-listen to Spirit-within-each-one-of-us. The Spirit-Within is our Internal Authority. It is this Spirit we must each be allowed, encouraged, guided toward, and yes - respected for! listening to, in order that each and all enter into the Great Wedding Feast.
Hi Sr. Elise, great reflection & questions.
We're trying to stay focused and simplifying our lives.
Thank you ...
That was a good comparison. I appreciate the reflective questions.