32nd Sunday Ordinary Time – When the Bridegroom delays…

Wise & Foolish VirginsOne of the key words in Sunday’s gospel is “to delay,” as in, “As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.” (Matthew 25:5)  That pretty much describes our situation today, doesn’t it?  Christ delays…

The Greek word, chronizo, connects this passage to several, shall we say, interesting passages in the Greek Old Testament:

Exodus 32:1            When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Moses went up the mountain to speak with God.  He was gone almost six weeks.  Think about it.  If someone said, “Let’s meet for lunch tomorrow,” and didn’t show up for six weeks, would you hang around?  Not at all.  In the midst of their abandonment, they turned to Aaron to make idols for them – “other gods.”   We don’t do a whole lot better, do we? 

Sirach 6:18–21            My child, from your youth choose discipline, and when you have gray hair you will still find wisdom.  Come to her like one who plows and sows, and wait for her good harvest. For when you cultivate her you will toil but little, and soon you will eat of her produce.   She seems very harsh to the undisciplined; fools cannot remain with her.   She will be like a heavy stone to test them, and they will not delay in casting her aside.

Here, Wisdom grants wisdom to those who endure her discipline.  As we tire of said discipline, we bail.  Right?  Luckily, Wisdom is persistent.  

Still, as I told some friends, I really know few folks over 75 years of age whom I would go to for wisdom.  Not all, but some many have traded in wisdom for golf and Vegas.  Such are the gods we welcome when idle. 

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