Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 87: 3
Let my prayer come into your presence.Incline your ear to my cry for help, O Lord.
Almighty and merciful God,graciously keep from us all adversity,so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,we may pursue in freedom of heartthe things that are yours.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.
First readingWisdom 6:12-16
Wisdom is bright, and does not grow dim.By those who love her she is readily seen,and found by those who look for her.Quick to anticipate those who desire her, she makes herself known to them.Watch for her early and you will have no trouble;you will find her sitting at your gates.Even to think about her is understanding fully grown;be on the alert for her and anxiety will quickly leave you.She herself walks about looking for those who are worthy of herand graciously shows herself to them as they go,in every thought of theirs coming to meet them.
For you my soul is thirsting, O God, my God.
- O God, you are my God, for you I long;for you my soul is thirsting.My body pines for youlike a dry, weary land without water.
- So I gaze on you in the sanctuaryto see your strength and your glory.For your love is better than life,my lips will speak your praise.
- So I will bless you all my life,in your name I will lift up my hands.My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,my mouth shall praise you with joy.
- On my bed I remember you.On you I muse through the nightfor you have been my help;in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
Second reading1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them; to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.
Gospel Acclamation Mt24:42 44
Alleluia, alleluia! Stay awake and stand ready,because you do not know the hourwhen the Son of Man is coming.Alleluia!
Gospel Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look with favour, we pray, O Lord,upon the sacrificial gifts offered here,that, celebrating in mystery the Passion of your Son,we may honour it with loving devotion.Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 22: 1-2
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose,near restful waters he leads me.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by this sacred gift, O Lord,we give you thanks and beseech your mercy,that, by the pouring forth of your Spirit,the grace of integrity may endurein those your heavenly power has entered.Through Christ our Lord.
People ask me all the time, “Father, when is Jesus coming back, so that Ican get myself ready?’ My answer is, “I don’t know”. In today’s Gospel Jesus gives us a clue; using the story of the wise and the foolish virgins he illustrates his sudden and unexpected Second Coming (Parousia). This parable is a reminder to watch and wait in prayer for the Son of man will come at a time no one expects. Today, while many wise virgins are working for their salvation with fear and trembling, others, foolish virgins, are adamant to the prophetic call to get enough oil and stay awake in prayer and good works.Modern day foolish virgins are consciously refusing to get extra oil by tuning off the prophetic voices, rejecting the message and the messenger and living their lives without any reference to the Word of God or the sacraments of the church. Jesus is challenging us to never grow weary but to stay awake in prayer and corporal works of mercy so that when he comes we will be ready to go out and meet him.