In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about ten virgins who are awaiting a wedding feast. Five of them were foolish, five of them were wise. The foolish ones did not bring enough oil for their lamps and when the bridegroom was delayed, they ran out of oil and did not make it to the wedding feast. Jesus tells His disciples, “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
In the first reading today from 1 Thessalonians 4, St. Paul writes, “This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality…For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.” Seems pretty clear to me. We are called to holiness.
This is the message that makes the world crazy. This notion brings out the fangs in the frothing-at-the-mouth moral relativists. St. Paul speaks clearly about sexual purity. Not a very popular notion these days, huh? And the Lord knows that this is not easy. The world says that God wants us to take the easy way. Got an urge? Satisfy it! God wants you to be happy! While it is true that God wants us to be happy, He knows what real happiness is all about. And true happiness comes through holiness. And holiness doesn’t come by making ourselves happy (selfishness), but by doing God’s will.
Father, you know of our struggle with holiness. Help us to do your will today, that we might be holy, as you are holy. Amen.