by Thabo Mkhonta
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WITH OUR BAPTISM LAMPS SWITCHED ON, WE AWAIT THE COMING BRIDEGROOM
The Church year is coming to an end, and that is why the readings are starting to be eschatological, and about the end. The end a person may think about is the universal one (cosmological eschatology), but there is also an individual eschatology –the individual end, which is death. We are all heading for that end –and we all know it and have to face it.
I know that since treading on this gruesome subject, which is saturnine to many, because we don’t want to face that reality of death. But, in today’s readings it is all about being vigilant and ready for we all don’t know when would the lights go out. Even the prayer: ‘Hail Mary…now and at the hour of our death reminds us to be ready. The key is to be ready that when it comes you are prepared as a person who is faithful to his baptism. The fact of death is alluded by St Paul in the 2nd Reading as the ground of hope, that is why he is even using the euphemism “asleep” instead of “died”. He is encouraging us not to grieve like people who have no hope, of life after death. So, we shouldn’t be sullen as if everything ends in the graveyard; Him who overcame the grave is coming!
We need to be vigilant like the wise virgins whose lamps didn’t go out. Keep the oil in the lamp… the oil of baptism. There should be this constant reminder to us all that there is this concrete reality of death of which awaits us all, individually. So, be a wise person not a clever one; for a clever person only knows about manipulating systems in this world to satiate his/her ego(thinking only about this life), but a wise person knows that one day he/she is going to die. The end is nearing to each and everyone of us; and what would happen after death? The point of the parable is for us to be always ready to meet Christ with our baptism lamps switched on, for we don’t know the time of death. Our lives here on earth shouldn’t be leading us to an eternal separation from God!
As the Bible begins with a wedding in Genesis, so it ends with a wedding feast in Revelations (19:6-9);and that has always been the quest of God to be united with us in love. This has been a love matter all along! So, don’t be surprised in the end if you failed to love others here in this life. Let the fire of love keep burning, for who doesn’t have love knows no God! Have a relationship with Christ, and you will have a good relationship with others!