Living the Gospel – November 8, 2020

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In today’s Gospel we hear the parable of the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom to come. Five of them ran out of oil before his arrival and left to get oil for their lamps, so as to “properly” greet him. While they were gone the bridegroom arrived. I wonder what would have happened had they accepted their mistake of not planning ahead and simply greeted him without their lamps burning. It seems to me the bridegroom would have been glad to see them even without the oil…just as God is glad to “see us” worship/serve him even if we do not feel totally prepared. I think God accepts us as we are and rejoices we are showing up and doing our best.

“To be prepared” to meet God can mean many things. We unite ourselves with God and others in and outside the church building. “In the book An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, Barbara Brown Taylor writes of meeting God in our everyday lives. From simple practices such as taking a walk while noticing with gratitude the things in the natural world, silently or verbally blessing people we pass on the road or in the store or our children as they sleep, hanging clothes on a clothesline can become an act of devotion if we pay attention to what we are doing observing the sights, smells, and sounds around us, and making eye contact with the cashier at the grocery store becomes a moment of true grace and human connection. With Taylor’s writings, we come to question conventional distinctions between the sacred and the secular, learning that no physical act is too earthbound or too humble to become a path to the divine. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover altars everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do.” To be prepared means to open our minds, hearts, eyes and ears to meet God in the everyday events of our life…. May each of us strive to be prepared as the wise virgins were….but if we are not, may we accept ourselves with humility and still meet God…


Peg Orzel