Keep those lamps lit!

11-12-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today, we are invited to mull over the purpose of our existence: it is a warning from the God about our ultimate end. We should not therefore, play with life. “The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” (Matthew 25:1).The end of each person will depend on the path chosen. Death is a consequence of the life —wise or foolish— that has been led in this world. Foolish maidens are those who have heard Jesus' message but have not put it into practice. Wise maidens are those who have incorporated it into their lives; that's why they enter the wedding feast of the Kingdom.

This parable is a very serious wake-up call. “Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13). Never let the lamp of faith go out because any moment could be the last. The Kingdom is already here. Light your lamps with the oil of faith, hope and love. Our hearts, full of light, will allow us to experience true joy here and now. Those around us will also be enlightened and will know the joy of the presence of the long-awaited Bridegroom. Jesus asks us to always have that oil in our lamps.

God is inviting us to the wedding feast of the Lamb. To find the way ourselves and help others find it, we must have our lamps well lit. Lamps are to give light. That is, it is necessary to live faith, practice love, so that it can help others, so that it is contagious.

We must be builders of the Kingdom now and always. I remember the words of a Pentecostal Chaplain that I knew during my Army service. He was often heard to say, “Every Christian should always be ready to read, preach, pray or die.” Are you ready?

St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (I Cor 9:27) The great apostle to the Gentiles knew that he had to stay close to Christ and His Church or he too might fall away and be rejected. And later he wrote to those same Corinthians: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (II Cor 13:5)

I do not need to tell you that we live in extremely dangerous times: the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas war, the great threat of an expanded world war and the ongoing attempts for a global reset. May we be faithful to stay close to Christ, His Church, and His sacraments.

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson