32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
God comes to us each day; actually God is always with us, within us. We just need the eyes to see and the ears to hear. God comes in all kinds of different ways, usually ones that each individual might see and hear, ways that seem familiar to us, but have that extra something to show us God is here.
In my own life God has come through nature, like a column of ants going across the sidewalk, or a sense when looking out at the sea that all is one, or through art the first time I saw the Pieta, through music, or through good friends, or through bad or awful times, and through times of prayer. It seemed that all was just as it always had been until God showed up. In all our lives nature is always there, good friends are there, music and art is there, love of a spouse and children are there, bad times are there, but then there is that special something that lets us know God has something to tell us.
At those times in our lives that are hurtful, full of anger, resentment, disappointment, uncertainty and unrest, like COVID-19, the results of this election, or a fight in the family, God calls us to forgiveness, to mercy, to kindness to others and to ourselves, to keep working for justice and love. God breaks through somehow, to let us know that life, a good life, is still possible if we listen to what God is telling us about forgiveness, mercy and love.
What have been your experiences of God? What in your life seemed just usual, and then an insight, a thought, a feeling of something more than just what was there was happening? Let us take a minute to recall those times or places that God was made visible to us in one way or another.
In the Gospel today we have a story of two sets of people – ones ready, ones not ready. The ones ready were able to see and hear the approaching of God, the bridegroom in the story. The others didn’t notice. In the Gospel story, the ones who noticed and were ready, were let in, the ones who didn’t notice, and were not ready, were left out.
We know, however, that the ones left out did have a second or third or fourth chance at some point in their lives. God never really closes the door, it is always open, ready to welcome the lost, the ones who didn’t notice the first time, those who finally wake up to God’s presence. The door is always open.
God comes through people who care enough about us to tell us the truth. It is then we can see and hear God again. I imagine that the five who were left out in the Gospel story finally did hear God calling them, woke up, and were ready to change, to be converted, and to live. Then they entered into the feast.
The first reading encourages us to seek Wisdom, who is always “found by those who seek her, and readily perceived by those who love her.” If we seek Wisdom we shall not be disappointed for she shall be “sitting by our gate.” If we are not aware or not awake we usually just walk by without noticing anything different. Wisdom guides us to fullness of life in whatever we face.
So let us open our hearts, our eyes, and our ears to see and hear the differences in our world where God speaks to us, and not just walk by or ignore those subtle differences in the most daily of things.
As Irma Louise, from Appalachia said, “Every day the Master comes, but you just never know when. So I’m ready!” Let us be ready, every day, every hour.
Sr. Bridget Hasse, OSU. Daily reflection in LIVING WITH CHRIST. October 2020, page 144.
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