You do not know the day or the hour

Today’s readings offer both warning and comfort. The parable of the ten bridesmaids reminds us that our life will come to an end and we ‘do not know the day or the hour’ when the Lord will call us to him. But the words of St Paul to the Christians at Thessalonika in the Second Reading bring reassurance. Those early Christians wondered about their family members and friends who had died. Would they rise to eternal life as they had been promised? Yes, Paul assures the Thessalonians, they should be quite certain about those who have died. Their loved ones are in God’s hands.

The First Reading is a reflection on true wisdom and the parable of the bridesmaids reminds us that one day we will meet Jesus, the bridegroom. We are wise if we remember that we will stand before the Lord one day, and will have to answer to him for our lives. We prepare ourselves by prayer and good works.

November is the month of remembrance, when we traditionally pray for the loved ones whom we have lost, and for those who have died in war. Today’s Gospel reminds us of the reality that life has an end, but our faith gives us a firm hope in the face of death. By God’s mercy, there will be a place for us at the wedding feast in the kingdom of heaven.

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