Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time - 1st September 2017
Reading 1, First Thessalonians 4:1-8
1 Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus; we instructed you how to live in the way that pleases God, and you are so living; but make more progress still.
2 You are well aware of the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 God wills you all to be holy. He wants you to keep away from sexual immorality,
4 and each one of you to know how to control his body in a way that is holy and honourable,
5 not giving way to selfish lust like the nations who do not acknowledge God.
7 God called us to be holy, not to be immoral;
8 in other words, anyone who rejects this is rejecting not human authority, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 97:1, 2, 5-6, 10, 11-12
Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles be glad!
2 Cloud, black cloud enfolds him, saving justice and judgement the foundations of his throne.
5 The mountains melt like wax, before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his saving justice, all nations see his glory.
10 Yahweh loves those who hate evil, he keeps safe his faithful, rescues them from the clutches of the wicked.
11 Light dawns for the upright, and joy for honest hearts.
12 Rejoice in Yahweh, you who are upright, praise his unforgettable holiness.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all time and pray,
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 25:1-13
The foolish will miss heaven's wedding feast
2 Five of them were foolish and five were sensible:
3 the foolish ones, though they took their lamps, took no oil with them,
4 whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps.
5 The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep.
6 But at midnight there was a cry, "Look! The bridegroom! Go out and meet him."
7 Then all those wedding attendants woke up and trimmed their lamps,
8 and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, "Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out."
9 But they replied, "There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves."
10 They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed.
11 The other attendants arrived later. "Lord, Lord," they said, "open the door for us."
12 But he replied, "In truth I tell you, I do not know you."
13 So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The consequences of being unprepared to meet the Lord
Reflection: Jesus warns us that there are consequences for being unprepared. There are certain things you cannot obtain at the last moment. For example, students cannot prepare for their exams when the day of testing is already upon them. A person cannot get the right kind of character, strength, and skill required for a task at hand unless they already possess it, such as a captain with courage and nautical skills who must steer a ship through a dangerous storm at sea.
When the Lord Jesus comes to lead you to his heavenly banquet will you be ready to hear his voice and follow? Our eternal welfare depends on our hearing, and many have trained themselves to not hear. We will not be prepared to meet the Lord, face to face, when he calls us on the day of judgment, unless we listen to him today. The Lord invites us to feast at his heavenly banquet table. Are you ready?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, make me vigilant and attentive to your voice that I may heed your call at all times. May I find joy in your presence and delight in doing your will." Amen.
"Keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour."