Reflection for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time…November 8, 2020

By Dot Connealy, Notre Dame Associate

Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalm 63:2-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13

Today’s readings all speak of Wisdom and being “wise.”

When I was young, I mostly associated the word wisdom with “book learning”; going to school and being smart. As I grew, I saw how this definition was much too small to encompass the meaning in today’s readings. Being “wise” means so much more than just knowing the capital city of South Carolina.

How to understand it?

I guess, in truth, I am still trying to define the term for myself. Here is how I have come to discern the meaning of this important term.

When I return hate with love, I am being wise.

When I feel gratitude and act generously in a time of poverty, I am being wise.

When I take the time to help my neighbor when I don’t feel that I have the time, I am being wise.

It is not so much that the wise virgins conserved their oil because they were smart, but because they were hopeful and spiritually preparing for the next step in their lives. Someone else cannot do that for you. We must do this for ourselves.

And, if any of this is wisdom (I know this may be the wisest thing I am saying) I know that my understanding of “wisdom” is not complete and I am still working on it.

Go work on your own.