32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Fr. Ata Mensah 

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Fr. Ata Mensah

First Reading: Wisdom 6:12-16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 63
Second Reading: 1Thess 4:13-18
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13


Theme: Living in a Fool’s Paradise


Chinua Achebe once wrote: “Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten”. This showd how important Proverbs are to his tribe. Indeed Proverbs are an integral part of African culture. The essence of Proverbs are to illustrate ideas, reinforce arguments and deliver messages of inspiration, consolation, celebration and advice. A parable is a more expansive form of Proverb. It is a short narrative fiction that expresses a religious or moral lesson. The readings of today are given in the form of Proverbs and parables.

Explanation of the Text

Our first reading was written during the Hellenistic period admonishes us to seek wisdom which can easily be found. The style and writing of this book especially this pericope gives us a clue of what was pertaining at the time. The World at the time was so much in love of seeking and searching for wisdom which they termed as philosophy. The writer polemically calls the young Jews who were drifted to seek mundane wisdom that the correct and perfect wisdom can be found within the Jewish religion and the community and that it was easily accessible. Having wisdom was equated to accumulated knowledge and being foolish was as a result of poor decision making skills.

In our Gospel reading there were ten maidens, five were foolish and five were wise. The only thing that differentiated the foolish from the wise was the fact that they went along with some extra oil; they didn’t depend on the oil in their lamps. The five virgins became fools not because of the scarcity of the oil in the town because even at midnight when they went out to buy the dealers of the oil were available but because they were content and seemed not ready.

What is this extra oil? It is going beyond just being an ordinary Christian. The extra oil is living out the holiness of life that is beyond average. It is going the extra mile to help those in need even when they do not ask. It is avoiding hypocrisy; practising what you preach; living out the dictates of your creed/vows whether in public or in private.

Indeed the five virgins were living in fool’s Paradise. They actually believed wrongly that their situation was good and didn’t see the need to carry the extra oil when in fact it wasn’t.

What makes these bridesmaids wise is that they understand they may have to wait a while. They understand the world isn’t a place that runs exactly on time. That God (who runs time) doesn’t always run exactly on time. We can be waiting minutes, hours, months, even years, and rather than want the waiting to go away, we should be prepared for it. We can’t delude ourselves into thinking that time is on our side.

In our second reading Paul talks about the resurrection and how on that day God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. This is a clear indication that our life will definitely come to an end but until then we need to be wise by carrying extra oil and keeping wait. Remember life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich and tragedy for the poor….

Be wise!!!



1 Comment
  1. Martino Debrah says

    God bless your good works Father

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