Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gospel text for Sunday 9 November 2014


Matthew 25:1-13      Jesus said, "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, `Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, `No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, `Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Reflection     I believe we have been lured into settling for way to little. We are not ‘only human.’ We are creatures made in the image of God intended to reveal God’s presence on earth. In Jesus’ parable about the kingdom of heaven, all of us are the bridesmaids. Being created in the image of God we are intended to be in loving relationship with God, the bridegroom. The question is, do we desire and expect to experience God with us? Are we wise or foolish bridesmaids?

The minds of the foolish bridesmaids were dark. Their lack of oil for their lamps represents their lack of awareness that God is with them even when they cannot see or experience God present. In other words, the foolish bridesmaids failed to develop their spiritual awareness or interior light. Consequently they were living in a state of interior darkness or lack of awareness that God, the bridegroom, is with them from the beginning and for all time.

By contrast, the minds of the wise bridesmaids are illumined, like lamps with ample oil. They have done the work to develop their consciousness. They desire and expect to experience the bridegroom, God with them. Consequently, they experience interior light, which is to say, even when they cannot see or viscereally experience God’s presence they know God is with them from the beginning for all time. As such they live in the kingdom of heaven on earth.

What is the kingdom of heaven? The kingdom of heaven is hiding in plain sight. It is not something outside ourselves that we can find or purchase. It is not delayed payment for a life of obedience. The kingdom of heaven is the light that shines from the center of each one of us. As we turn around and direct our attention inward the light of our self awareness and our God awareness grow. The apostle Paul described it this way,  “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” Gal 2.20) The bridegroom comes and takes us into the wedding banquet. This is the mystical union or marriage; the realization that our interior light, the essence of our true self, is not other than God’s light. We experience the light of new relationship with God given by Jesus to all of us who choose to believe. 

** Alexander Grey image  Praying
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