“Using every opportunity to receive God’s abundant favours!”
(Based on 1 Cor 1:17-25 and Mt 25:1-13 – Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)
“Take time by the forelock” is a phrase that means ‘to act quickly and decisively” and “not let slip an opportunity”
(“Forelock” is the strand or cluster of hair, growing just above the forehead)
This phrase has an interesting origin…
A statue chiselled by Lysippus (one of the greatest sculptors of the Classical Greek Era in the 4th century BC) stood in one of the cities in Ancient Greece.
… had wings
… a lock of hair on the forehead
… and was bald at the back of the head
Underneath this statue, was engraved the following conversation, in a question-answer format…
“Who made thee?”
“Lysippus made me.”
“What is thy name?”
“My name is Opportunity.”
“Why hast thou wings on thy feet?”
“That I may fly swiftly over the earth.”
“Why hast thou a forelock?”
“That men may seize me as I come.”
“Why art thou bald on the back of thy head?’?
“Because, when I am gone, none can lay hold of me.”
Opportunity is like this bald-headed man with only a patch of hair right in front.
One has to grab that hair, grasp the opportunity while it’s being confronted…
… else, one will be grasping a slick bald head!”
Is my Christian Life characterized by an enthusiastic response to the many opportunities for blessings that God offers me…?
… or do I ‘doze off’ in lethargy and laziness, letting away many wonderful opportunities and squandering many chances of God’s abundant favours?
The Gospel of the Day presents the Parable of the Ten Virgins, with a strong warning to “make use of every opportunity that life offers” and “to be ever-prepared” in receiving the coming of the Lord.
The parable of the Ten Virgins has its setting in a Jewish Wedding.
In the time of our Blessed Lord, the wedding was probably one of the greatest events in a typical Palestinian village or an Israeli town.
This was a time of great social celebration!
All got together…
… friends, relatives, villagers..
It was a time of great festivity, abounding happiness and overflowing celebrations.
The climax of the wedding festivity was when the bridegroom went to get his bride.
This was done in a grand procession through the village, so that all in the village could be part of this festivity.
The ten virgins (or bridesmaids) who are mentioned in the Gospel Passage, had the role of performing one of the acts of entertainment.
They would have to perform a wedding dance – “torch dance” around the bride and the groom, holding torches.
It would symbolize the light of their love, wishing them a luminous future.
Then the wedding party would go into the house, and the celebration would last for seven long days!
In the parable, it is mentioned that “since the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and
fell asleep” (Mt 25: 5)
It was only when the call that the Bridegroom had arrived was given, that five of the Virgins realized, that “they brought no oil with them” (Mt 25: 3)
It’s so ironical that the wedding which was such a well-prepared and a long-awaited event, had these five virgins who were so unprepared and so unequipped for the grand moment!
The story of these five virgins who were unprepared (whom our Blessed Lord calls as ‘foolish”) could well be our own stories too…
How often are we too unprepared and unequipped… missing out on opportunities….
… The Lord gives ample opportunities to get back our life on track, through various Biblical inspirations, talks, retreats, literatures etc.
… There are so many occasions that are provided for us to grow in our virtues, to learn deeper the mysteries of heaven and to illumine ourselves with holy knowledge
… We also get so many chances to build our relationship with one another, to grow in appreciation and praise of other and to discover and nurture the goodness in others
Do we make good use of all such opportunities or do we squander them away?
Let our Christian Life be characterized by an enthusiastic response to the many blessings that God offers me…
… and use every opportunity to receive God’s abundant favours!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The signs of bread and wine
The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist
St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven. (CCC #1338)