The Gospel this Sunday is about preparation and perseverance.
Preparation: The ways in which we prepare for the coming of the Lord are many:
- Daily prayer, most importantly. If we are not speaking to the Lord every day, we will quickly lose a sense of His presence and more easily fall away from His grace.
- Sunday Mass (at least). Would we go a week without feeding our bodies? Certainly not. We would grow weak or even die. The same is true for our souls. Without feeding our souls with Christ’s Body and Blood, our soul grows weak and dies.
- Frequent confession (at least monthly). It should be clear to all of us that we fall into sin frequently, through thought, word, and deed; in small ways and unfortunately sometimes in big ways. We need God’s mercy more than we like to admit!
We might consider these three acts of our Faith as the sources for the oil we need to keep our lamps burning brightly while waiting for the Lord’s return.
Perseverance: Perseverance is dying in the state of grace. We think of perseverance as enduring to the end, as in a race. Having the strength and courage and fortitude to endure the difficulties and temptations of this life while still remaining in God’s grace. St. Alphonsus Liguori said that we need to pray for perseverance/a holy death every single day. The one moment that matters most of all in our life, is the last moment. Will I leave this world with oil in my lamp (grace in my soul), or will I fail to prepare and be found with a darkened lamp? May God give us all the grace to prepare and persevere!