Wondering what Understanding the Gospel is? Check out the 1st post in the series for an explanation.
Why Sharing is Not Always Caring – A Reflection on the Wise and Foolish Virgins
If you’d like to read the entire text of today’s readings you can find them here.
At first glance, the women in this week’s gospel are kind of being rude. Why would they not share their oil? I don’t know about you, but listening to that made me a little uncomfortable. After all – it’s important to share, isn’t it? Our culture often tells us that everything should be fair – everything should be equal. We have to share our toys with our siblings and friends, often times we have to share our snacks, it may be the case that you even have to share your bedroom.
But – what if the women aren’t being rude? And what if it’s the case that if we reduce this parable to a lesson on sharing – we are missing the entire point.
You see, there are other places in the gospels that we hear about oil and it’s usually in reference to things like good deeds and works of mercy that have been completed by a person stemming from their relationship with Christ. The oil is a symbol of the light of faith inside someone. That’s not really something that you can share.
Don’t get me wrong – you can share Jesus. In fact, that’s what we are all called to do – it’s called Evanglization. What are some ways we can do that? We can talk to people about him, we can tell them what he did and how much he loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. But we can’t force them to let Jesus in their heart – we can’t force them to have a relationship with Him.
You see – as we ourselves grow closer to Jesus and as we let the fruits of that relationship flow over into our lives giving us the grace to do good in the world, help others, and be the hands and feet of Christ – our “oil” is building up inside us. That’s not something we can really share, because what this is really about is being prepared – doing what you have to do so that you can greet Jesus when he comes. We can’t rely on anyone else’s relationship with God to get us to Heaven. Even as a kid – God wants to know you and he wants you to know Him.
Questions for Reflection:
What are some ways that our family is sharing Jesus with the world? Is there anything else we could be doing?
What can we do to make sure that our we have enough oil for our lamp when the Lord comes?
Mom and Dad – As our kids grow, they really do rely on OUR relationship with Christ as a model to form their own relationship. Take a moment to reflect, what kind of example are you offering. Do you talk to your kids about your relationship with Christ? How are you going to help them mold their own relationship and grow into a more mature and personal faith?