Thursday of Trinity 22 – Matthew 25:1-13

| November 19, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Victor Buono as King TutMatthew 25:1-13

            One of my favorite shows growing up was Batman.  My favorite archvillain was King Tut (Julie Newmar’s Catwoman was a close 2nd).  I think Victor Buono was a comic genius!  Anyway, King Tut was in real life a mild-mannered Harvard professor of Egyptology, but when he got hit on the head, for example with a flower pot, he turned into King Tut.  In one episode, he actually figures out that Bruce Wayne is Batman.  He mumbles to himself, mulls over what he’s seen and heard, calculates and says out loud to himself, “carry the 3 – ergo, Bruce Wayne . . . is Batman!”

At the end of the episode, however, he gets hit on the head again and turns back into the mild-mannered Harvard professor of Egyptology.  When he sees Commissioner Gordon and Police Chief O’Hara and others looking at him, he looks up at them and says, “Oh dear!  Have I done it again?”

Well, that’s the way I feel today.

Do you remember what yesterday’s lesson was about?  I know: I, too, have to scramble to think what it was about.  Oh yeah – I remember.  It was about no one knowing the day or hour when Christ will return, and I applied it to mean that God is our boss and we should work like He is, so that whenever He comes, He’ll find us doing what’s pleasing to Him.

And then we come across today’s lesson – and it’s exactly the same thing!  I mean, the characters in the parable are changed and so on.  But it’s really still all about the master/ bridegroom being gone and what we’ll do in His absence.  Why can’t Jesus move onto something else?

And another thing.  He’s now spent a chapter and a half on answering the disciples’ small question about the temple and when it would be destroyed.  They didn’t expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition!

But the reason I feel like King Tut – “Oh dear, have I done it again?” – is because I’m the one who’s done it again.  It’s hard to believe that 24 hours have expired and transpired (and perspired).  But in that time, in spite of my spending so much time having written yesterday about watching for Jesus throughout my day – guess what?  I haven’t done a very good job.  My whole day was about things I’m sure He wanted me to be doing, and yet so little of the time was spent thinking about Him.

The truth is, that I need to hear this message about always being prepared for Christ in my life again.  A second reminder, after I bungled the first one, isn’t such a bad thing after all.

In retrospect, I feel like a kid who’s a picky eater.  I turn my nose up at leftovers, and I don’t like what I get served, even if it’s good for me!  God never fails to feed His children with His daily bread, but that doesn’t mean we always like it.  This is one of the things I like about using a lectionary system: I don’t get to keep going back to my favorite verses but instead have to find what is good about what God has just served me.

Left to myself, I’d probably go back to my old favorites time and time again: Psalm 19, Psalm 27:4, Matthew 16:24, 1 Corinthians 13, Philippians 2, Revelation 1, and so on.  Left to myself, I could eat pizza almost every day.  In fact, during one summer I worked at Pizza Hut, I did!  But a strictly pizza biblical diet would not be such a good thing!

So today, I’m supposed to be one of the wise virgins.  What was the difference between the wise and foolish virgins?  One cared enough to prepare, and one didn’t.

Don’t you know that one day, when He returns, you’ll be re-united with Jesus, the bride with the bridegroom?  This life is to prepare for the next, eternal, life.  But if you’ve been a foolish virgin who has not prepared and has not cared enough to bring extra oil, you just might be surprised when He does return!

You sometimes hear stories of soldiers being reunited with their wives after a long period of separation, sometimes years.  I’m blessed, in that I’ve never been away from Jackie more than a week at a time.  So I can only imagine how joyful and exuberant such a reunion must be.  Imagine the joy we’ll all have when we’re completely reunited to our Lord in heaven!

The way we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is to prepare for His coming to us today. 

Thanks, I needed to hear that again.  And I won’t complain, Lord, if you serve it to me again sometime soon in the future.

Prayer:  My spirit longs for thee,
within my troubled breast,
though I unworthy be
of so divine a Guest.

Of so divine a Guest
unworthy though I be,
yet has my heart no rest
unless it come from thee.

No rest is to be found
but in thy blessed love;
O let my wish be crowned
and send it from above.  (John Byrom)

Points for Meditation:

  1. Are there ways in which you’ve been complaining about the daily bread that God gives you each day?
  2. What are some ways in which Jesus is likely to show up in your life today?

Resolution:  I resolve to spend today looking and longing for the presence of my Lord. 

© 2014 Fr. Charles Erlandson

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Category: Give Us This Day

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