Pastor's Corner“But the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.” The foolish versus the wise. Today’s parable sets these two groups in stark contrast to one another. Two crowds of young women wait for a wedding feast. One group comes prepared for the unexpected, the other just assumes everything will go according to schedule. But it doesn’t! The Bridegroom is late, and the foolish virgins are left out in the dark--literally--while the wise ones enjoy the feast inside.The lesson here is not just about having foresight and gathering the corresponding equipment. It’s about being ready for the second coming of Christ. Jesus himself is the “Bridegroom.” Traditionally we refer to the Church as the “Bride of Christ” and we, as the people of God who constitute the Church, are even now awaiting the real feast, the culmination of time when Jesus returns. But are we standing among the wise or the foolish as we wait?Jesus tells us today, “Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Are we spiritually awake? Do we have extra oil to see us through, or are we hitting the bottom of the barrel and running on spiritual fumes so to speak? Do we think it’s enough to do the bare minimum as we wait for Christ--stepping into church without really being present, or calling ourselves Christian without really taking up the challenge of the cross? In order to avoid standing outside the feast with the foolish, we will want to make sure we fill our flasks with oil or, in other words, fill our hearts with the love of God, fill our minds with his word and his teachings, and fill our souls with the virtues that unite us to his will. If we stock up on these important supplies, we can count ourselves among the wise!
The Voice of the Authentic SelfIt would seem, then, that the great challenge is to work out what we believe. This is surprisingly easy. When it comes to everyday dilemmas, we all have a guide that is never wrong and often ignored. The voice of the authentic self calls to us ceaselessly from within. Traditionally it has been called the voice of conscience, but regardless of what name we give it, we all have this quiet, gentle voice within us, and it is our truest guide.We are constantly overwhelmed by voices – the voices of parents, of friends, teachers, mentors, coaches, siblings, employers, experts, celebrities, politicians, preachers, advisors, consultants. All these voices make it very easy to drown out the quiet voice within. But this voice within is the voice of your authentic self. This is the-best-version-of-yourself talking to you. This is the voice of integrity, the voice of character, the voice of virtue. This is quite possibly the only voice in your life that has no agenda other than seeing you become perfectly yourself.Identifying a set of core beliefs and developing a personal mission statement are powerful and useful exercises, but it is the voice within more than anything or anyone else that will help you to discover what you believe. Not all at once, though we wish it could be so, but step by step along the way. If you learn to listen to the gentle voice within you, it will grow stronger and stronger, and if you live by what you
Upcoming Events:Sunday School Classes: November 12, December 3, 10 - No Classes: November 19, 2Classes have begun for all grades and registration is on-going. For more information, please email Megan Everett, email@example.com.
Stewardship: Parishioners Answering God’s Call in HospitalityLast spring, during one of our very crowded First Eucharist Masses, a family with reserved seats crowded together and invited standing parishioners to join them in their pew. Fellowship is Christian kindness.Please submit your stewardship story examples to firstname.lastname@example.org. They may be edited for space consideration.
More information is available in the weekly bulletin. Click here to download.