The Oil of Charity

Friday, September 1, 2017

Readings for Friday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time

All Saints for Today

“‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’”  Matthew 25:11b-12

What a frightening and sobering experience that would be.  This passage comes from the Parable of the Ten Virgins.  Five of them were prepared to meet our Lord and the other five were not.  When the Lord came, the five foolish virgins were off trying to get more oil for their lamps, and when they returned, the door to the feast was already locked.  The above passage reveals what happened next.

Jesus tells this parable, in part, to wake us up.  We must be ready for Him every day.  And how do we make sure we are ready?  We are ready when we have plenty of “oil” for our lamps.  The oil especially represents charity in our lives.  So, the simple question to ponder is this: “Do I have charity in my life?”

Charity is more than just simple human love.  By “human love” we mean an emotion, feeling, attraction, etc.  We can feel this way toward another person, toward some activity or toward many things in life.  We can “love” to play sports, or watch movies, etc.

But charity is so much more.  Charity means we love with the heart of Christ.  It means that Jesus has placed in our hearts His own merciful heart and we love with His love.  Charity is a gift from God that enables us to reach out to and care for others in ways that are far beyond our own abilities.  Charity is divine action in our lives and it is necessary if we want to be welcomed to the feast of Heaven.

Reflect, today, upon whether or not you can see the heart of Jesus alive in your own heart.  Can you see Him acting in you, compelling you to reach out to others even when it’s hard?  Do you say and do things that help people grow in holiness of life?  Does God act in you and through you to make a difference in the world?  If the answer is “Yes” to these questions, then charity is certainly alive in your life.

Lord, make my heart a fit dwelling place for Your own divine heart.  Let my heart beat with Your love and let my words and actions share in Your perfect care for others.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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