Wonder and Awe

Wonder and Awe

33rd Sunday Ordinary Time – A – November 19, 2023

Don’t be tempted to give a simplistic interpretation of today’s Gospel that sounds like a lesson in good investment practices or a lead-in to the annual stewardship appeal. Instead, think of today’s Gospel as part of a set that began last Sunday with the parable of the ten virgins and will conclude next Sunday with the parable of the sheep and the goats. These three passages make up the entirety of Matthew’s 25th chapter. The next chapter begins the narrative of Jesus’s final days and his death and resurrection.

In all three parables, we are called to discipleship grounded not in selfish fear but in fear of the Lord, that is, in wonder and awe at God’s goodness.

We rejoice in the abundance of gifts each one of us has been given in Christ.

In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, we were called to trust joyfully in Christ and not lose hope as we await the fullness of God’s reign. Today, we rejoice in the abundance of gifts each one of us has been given in Christ.

Without fear of losing them, as in a flame divided but undimmed, we are invited to put them to use for the sake of others so that Christ may be glorified. Finally, next Sunday, when we honor Christ the King, we will see what awaits those who, like Jesus, fearlessly give of themselves completely for those most in need.

Image credit: Petrovich9 from Getty Images.

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