Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Getting to Know You
At the end of today’s Gospel, when the foolish virgins return from the quick shop with the oil, they are locked out
of the wedding. The groom answers their pleas, not with a
question, “Why weren’t you ready?” but with the statement, “I don’t know you” (Mt 25:12). Now that sounds
kind of odd, if the bridegroom represents the Lord, because God knows everything, and everybody. In Matthew’s Gospel, this phrase seems to imply that “because
you made no effort to know me, I don’t know you.” In
other words, the oil in the parable stands for knowing the
Lord. Or at least making an effort to know him.
So what am I doing to get to know Jesus? One way to know someone is to act like them.
Actors who portray a real person try to watch videos of that person to see how they talk, walk, relate to people, what kind of posture they have, how they dress, etc. We can act like Jesus by following his example of care for the poor and the sick, forgiving people who have done wrong, teaching people about God’s love, feeding the hungry, and giving God the credit for what we do.
Another way to get to know someone is to talk to them. The more we pray, the more we get
close to Jesus. We can praise God for Creation, we can thank God for all the giving (and forgiving!) We can ask for help for those we love and for God’s strength in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). But we don’t get to know someone if we do all the talking. Our prayer can include time to be quiet and listen to the Lord. We also listen to God by reading God’s words in the Bible. And God can speak to some people in art, song, or poetry. The advice and wisdom of friends and relatives can also be God speaking to us. Hopefully, we can all find ways of getting to know the Lord, so that God can “recognize” us as friends.