Monday night and Tuesday night parishioners of St. Joseph parish are invited to come to the school cafeteria at 7:00 PM to allow God to direct us for the next ten or so years of the parish. I hope for the Holy Spirit to direct us, and I hope to see many of you there one night or the other.
In today’s gospel, five virgins had their lamps lit and entered the wedding feast (heaven). Five had let their lamps go out and, therefore, could not enter. Did you know that the baptism of an infant makes reference to this parable of Jesus? After the baptismal candle is lit and entrusted to the parents, the priest expresses the desire: “He is to walk always as a child of the light. May he keep the flame of faith alive in his heart.” Then the reference to today’s parable, “When the Lord comes, may he go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.” It’s a beautiful image as it envisions the newly baptized child accompanying the Saints into glory. In the parable, all ten had been lit, but only five took the effort to keep the lamp burning. Most of you are baptized and received that candle. Is the flame of faith still alive in your heart? In your child’s heart? (Parents, the candle was entrusted to you.)
I consider it best to think of the flame of faith as a desire for God, so aptly expressed by the psalmist: “My soul is thirsting for you, my God.” I think of prayer, then, as a meeting of desires: God’s desire for us and our desire for Him—or as St. Therese says, “Prayer is a surge of the heart toward God.” Sometimes words aren’t necessary. Set aside time to pray. Keep the flame of faith burning!
Thank you to our veterans as we mark Veterans’ Day this weekend. Include them in your prayers as well.