When we follow God our humanity catches fire, our eyes open. The call is transformative.
The readings, whilst we admit their original context, beg to be read with ‘universalist’ eyes. ‘Perfect’ wives are not confined to any culture or religion since the spirit of womanliness and goodness beckons to all women. The chief adornment of a woman, as for a man, is wisdom. It would be good for men to ask women what they think of this male take on wisdom!
In 1 Thessalonians, we find lessons aimed at the early Christians but with reverberations for all humanity. ‘The Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night.’ The reality of God and his ‘day’ overturns all human calculations. One of the effects of taking up the call to follow God, is that we achieve a certain awareness of the difference between day and night, light and darkness, truth and falsity, good and bad. Our humanity catches fire, and our eyes open. As always, the call is transformative.
Matthew 25: God’s kingdom is offered to all without exception. The only criterion for entry lies in the responsibility laid on everyone by nature of our ability to choose or not to use the ‘property entrusted to us’ – the seeds of the kingdom of God within us. The result of entering, however grudgingly, any part of the relationship with God is that we are given, in the end, a passion for the Kingdom of God, which seduces us. We are given gifts – a huge treasure – a realisation of the need to work for the kingdom of God – and we want to do that. But it is not the number of gifts that have been given to us which is key, but what is done with them and to whom. Amassing large amounts of money through exploiting the poor, oppressing the workers who enabled the money to be accrued and punishing the worker who refused to comply with a corrupt boss are not what Jesus taught in the Parable of the Talents. Quite the reverse. We can choose to treat each other with justice at every level of our life, at home and at work. In small and big decisions, in the daily events and grand gestures.