Reflection for 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel given to us this week presents a contrast between those Bridesmaids that were ready and those that were unprepared, those who were wise and those who were foolish. In this parable Jesus is saying that wisdom is very much tied up with ‘being ready’. The first reading from the Book of Wisdom suggests the same sense of readiness when it counsels ‘watch for [wisdom] early and you will have no trouble, you will find her sitting at your gates.’
The RCIA as we know is a journey of faith that ‘includes not only the periods for making inquiry and for maturing, but also the steps marking the catechumens’ progress, as they pass, so to speak, through another doorway…’ (RCIA 6). As we accompany those who are preparing to cross the threshold of faith and belonging to the community of the Catholic Church it is a great consolation to know that as we do we will find wisdom already there, sitting at our gates, present at the place of encounter and change. Wisdom is already in operation in those who are seeking God. For us too as catechists it is only with wisdom, with that sense of readiness, that we can fruitfully accompany them as they seek to enter the family of faith. As the Gospel puts it: ‘those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall…’
So what resources do we have that can help us to be ready and wise?
We are offered the wisdom of the Rite itself in which is contained and distilled the wisdom of the community which has been initiating members for centuries. As well as the Rite itself we have resources that draw on that wisdom such as those found on the RCIA Network website www.rcia.org.uk , newsletter and the events such as the study days and conferences where collective wisdom and experience can be fruitfully shared. If you haven’t yet come along to an RCIA conference why not make the next in summer 2012 your first? (RCIA Network Conference,3rd-6th July 2012 at High Leigh, Hoddesdon, Herts. Please see website for more details)
Finally this Gospel passage is a reminder that through our own life of prayer we can get in touch with the gift of wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit. This special gift, to the extent that we are open to it, enables us to be ready for each and every situation that we may find ourselves drawn into. Perhaps in our own prayer we can reflect on how ready and wise we are or to what extent we need to grow in wisdom and readiness. Perhaps we can take this opportunity to seek the Lord’s gift of wisdom anew for our lives since, as todays first reading tells us ‘she is found by those who look for her.’