Suppose a local radio station called you and offered you a chance to win $10,000. Of course, that interests you … who wouldn’t want that kind of money! So you ask: “What do I need to do?” The station replies that you have to give then your name and email address, and then listen to that station every day for the next 30 days, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you hear your name, call in within 15 minutes and the $10,000 is yours. Would you do it? Would you enlist others to listen? Would you share anything with them if they heard your name? Thirty days is a long time!
When a local TV station here in Michiana has giveaways, they always wait till the last part of the newscast to announce the winner. When the Today show has a particularly unique segment, they always wait till the 8:30 half hour to show it.
In all three situations above, waiting is involved, and it’s hard to wait, particularly if there is something else we have to do, or want to do. This is the point of Sunday’s Gospel about the wise and the foolish members of the wedding party.
I’ve always liked to think that the “oil” carried by the wise ladies is something called wise and patient waiting. Waiting is one thing that we Americans do not do well. Most of us do not use the time wisely, nor are we patient.
I bring up wisdom and patience because they figure prominently in the First Reading. A person is wise who actively seeks out wisdom, the same idea is echoed in the Psalm, which describes a thirsting, hungry soul.
In other words, my friend, given that waiting is an inevitable part of my life and yours, what do we do with that time? Fritter it away with mounting impatience and restlessness? Or use it to pray, think, read, listen, ponder? Note that I don’t mention using the cell phone … that’s a distraction and not a wise use of time. Were Jesus to repeat that parable today, I’ll lay money that he would somehow work in that the ten foolish people were yapping away on their cells!
Anyway, be God’s smile for someone today!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.