Friday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Foolishness. Both of the readings today focus on foolishness. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reflects on the seeming foolishness of the cross. To all the world, the cross is an instrument of torture, a tool for destruction, and a means to eliminate the dangerous criminals of society. And yet, the most fundamental aspect of Christianity is that the cross is the means to our salvation the way by which humanity is drawn into the wisdom, love, and glory of the divinity. To our human understanding and worldly reasoning, this is a contradiction, a great mistake, absolute foolishness. And yet, as with the Eucharist, all of the other Sacraments, and the basic tenets of our faith, we are called to “look beyond” what we see and grasp physically and be drawn into that which is meta-physical, the transcendent reality, the fullness of the Truth, Jesus Christ Himself. The wisdom of God far surpasses that of humanity’s knowledge.
How do we acquire this Wisdom? Prayer is the key. Book knowledge, degrees, and good test-taking skills will not do it. The wise virgins in today’s gospel had reserve oil for their lamps so as to be attentive to the Lord’s arrival. Prayer is this oil. Prayer makes us attentive to, aware of, and open to the presence of the Lord in our lives. In the midst of the many obligations that fill our days, let us be sure that our lives are directed by divine wisdom, a love that surpasses the foolishness in which we can become ensnared. Let us be drawn to the cross of our salvation. May our words, thoughts, and actions be reflections of this divine wisdom.