November 12, 2023
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Kingdom of Heaven
…for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Matthew 25:13

I have always been bothered by this parable until recently. What unsettled me was the response of the wise virgins. They all fall asleep. But when the announcement is made, “Behold, the bridegroom,” only five have oil to light their lamps. Why didn’t the wise virgins share their oil with the ones that don’t have any? But this time, however, I heard something new.

If the oil signifies not only our faith but the good works of our life—our good deeds—then the oil is something we cannot share. As Matthew points out earlier, “by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16). And later in chapter 25, Matthew describes the final judgment as a shepherd separating the sheep from the goats. The measuring stick for entering the Kingdom? The good deeds done for others unable to care for themselves: “I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (v. 40).

- María Ruiz Scaperlanda

Wisdom 6:12-16 • Psalm 63:2-8 • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 • Matthew 25:1-13


November 13, 2023 at 12:53 AM

LFF, I loved reading all the different interpretations of today’s gospel message. It has always been one that puzzled me as well. I have heard it said that the gospels are like a fine diamond. When you hold it up to sunlight, you will see an image refracted through it. And if you turn it just a little, the light passing through it will give a different image.

November 12, 2023 at 07:47 PM

I must pray everyday for in prayer I find hope and wisdom. I must stay close to the Heart of Jesus and confess my sins and ask for humility and guidance to be God's servant. I am nothing without God My Father in Heaven and I want to live forever eternal in Heaven with My Creator Amen Amen Amen

November 12, 2023 at 12:04 PM


November 12, 2023 at 10:24 AM

I have never heard of the explanation of oil being signified by the "good work!" I believe that the oil signifies my faith as you said, Maria, is sufficient for me. You can tell others about your faith but you cannot give your faith to someone else! Actually, the oil in this passage signifies the Holy Spirit is much more important and relevant ✝️ Without the Holy Spirit, there is no faith!!! As a matter of fact, the "good work" can only come from the Holy Spirit!!! *** Acts 1:4-5, "One day Jesus was eating with them. He gave them a command. “Do not leave Jerusalem,” He said. “Wait for the gift my Father promised. You have heard me talk about it. John baptized with water. But in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” *** John 14:26, "But the Father will send the Friend in My Name to help you. The Friend is the Holy Spirit. He will teach you all things. He will remind you of everything I have said to you." *** 1 Corinthians 2:10-15, "God has shown these things to us through His Spirit. The Spirit understands all things. He understands even the deep things of God. Who can know the thoughts of another person? Only a person’s own spirit can know them. In the same way, only the Spirit of God knows God’s thoughts. What we have received is not the spirit of the world. We have received the Spirit Who is from God. The Spirit helps us understand what God has freely given us. That is what we speak about. We don’t use words taught to us by people. We use words taught to us by the Holy Spirit. We use the words taught by the Spirit to explain spiritual truths. The person without the Spirit doesn’t accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. These things are foolish to them. They can’t understand them. In fact, such things can’t be understood without the Spirit’s help. The person who has the Spirit can judge all things. But no human being can judge those who have the Spirit!" ******* This would not be in Scripture if "good work" is THE reason we get into the Kingdom in Ephesians 2:8-10, "God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do!" *** You see, "good work" is the result (not the reason) of my faith in Jesus through God's grace by the power of the Holy Spirit! Don't put the cart before the horse! *** Galatians 6:7-9, "Don’t be fooled. You can’t outsmart God. A man gathers a crop from what he plants. Some people plant to please their desires controlled by sin. From these desires they will harvest death. Others plant to please the Holy Spirit. From the Spirit they will harvest eternal life. Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up!" *** Matthew 7:22-24, "Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord! Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in Your Name? Didn’t we drive out demons in Your Name? Didn’t we do many miracles in Your Name?’ Then I will tell them clearly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who do evil!’ “So then, everyone who hears My Words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. He builds his house on the rock!" ******* Matthew 25:13, "Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour." Amen ❤️ *** That is why sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven because without the Holy Spirit there is no faith, without faith we are not forgiven! *** Matthew 12:31, "So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven!" *** Mark 3:28-29, "“ tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” ******* John 3:18, "Anyone who believes in Him (Jesus) is not judged. But anyone who does not believe is judged already. They have not believed in the Name of God’s One and only Son!" You see, when you do not believe in the Name of Jesus, God's One and only Son, you sin agianst the Holy Spirit and are judged (some translations say "condemned") already!

November 12, 2023 at 10:22 AM

Maria, I would say that this passage doesn't point to our works, as our works are not what save us but what generates our rewards, that I believe we may later lay at the feet of Christ. I think this refers more to our decision in accepting Christ as our Saviour, once we accept him we are supposed to become like lamps and shine his light into the world. I believe this passage is referring to Salvation the virgins with the lamp oil have accepted Christ before he come for them (death,) the others haven't, and now it's to late

November 12, 2023 at 10:27 AM

I'm just going to stop

November 12, 2023 at 10:24 AM

Oops not sure how to edit my post should the last line should have read before he came for them

November 12, 2023 at 10:15 AM

Amen. Thanks to all our Veterans.

November 12, 2023 at 09:48 AM

Maria, thanks for shedding light on this reflection for us. Thank you all you wonderful veterans for your service. We love you for it. Happy Sunday all.

November 12, 2023 at 09:43 AM

Thank you for letting me know this I always thought that they were being stingy with the oil and I thought that God would want them to share the oil.

November 12, 2023 at 02:18 PM

Indeed, Pam! Jesus’ explanation to His disciples for telling parables in Matthew 13:10-13, “His disciples came and asked Him (Jesus), “Why do You use parables when You talk to the people?” He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to My teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables, “For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand!”” *** Only with the Holy Spirit, we listen, we understand and we acknowledge the Son of God, Jesus! That’s the oil the foolish virgins didn’t bring ANY with them…

November 12, 2023 at 12:58 PM

Craig, I thought something similar! I thought they were a tad selfish, and why not buddy up and share the light, and all go together. But I understand better, and another example of a parable used to teach.

November 12, 2023 at 09:43 AM

Lord, please watch over and protect the humanitarian corridors being established in Gaza. Hear our continued prayers for those in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, the Sudan, and all those suffering around the world - also for their strength, courage and resilience to continue walking in faith. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in need and all who are at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all those who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

November 12, 2023 at 07:48 AM

Pam enjoyed your account of the life in Russia. TW I also am a veteran of Vietnam. Yesterday was special visited my grandchildren brought them donuts and small American flags. They knew about the number of stripes and stars. Living faith family how much time do we watch the phone or computer spinning symbols. Go round and round. Just came to me maybe we could use that time to pray. Quick Hail Mary or Lord's Prayer. No. not praying for [please stop that thing from spinning] Please keep the innocent people in Ukraine and the middle east safe. All the souls who have no one to pray for them and the souls in purgatory. Ken

November 12, 2023 at 09:24 AM

To Ken, TW and Bill L, thank you for your service to all of us in this Country! We owe you and all the other Vets a debt of gratitude for giving yourselves so the rest of us can be free. Especially after reading Pam’s account of her years in Russia( thank you, Pam)may we remember the sacrifices made by all the Veterans of the USA. God bless you all a hundredfold! ❤️

November 12, 2023 at 07:12 AM

To Pam from yesterday- first, thank you for sharing such an incredible life journey! I’m unhappy that I can’t understand our priest who is from a different country but at least I have a priest and a church in which I can worship! Thank you for putting things in perspective for me!

November 12, 2023 at 06:57 AM

I too was bothered by this reading until it was explained that the oil represented virtues/character/wisdom (like in the 1st reading). These cannot be shared the same way that clothes, food, or money can. Another person reflected that running out of oil is like being sucked into our phones. Definitely lots of food for thought on this reading I thought I knew and understood!

November 12, 2023 at 06:44 AM

I have been a quart low at times. As usual, the Lord watches over me. He built a reminder into my dashboard lights.

November 12, 2023 at 09:45 AM

❤️ Love this Bruce. Haven’t we all!!

November 12, 2023 at 09:09 AM

Bruce, love your humor!! Haven’t we all been a quart low at times? lol

Church of the Alsatian village, Hunawihr, France, surrounded by vineyards, with beautiful yellow autumn colors. Photo by Pierre-Jean Durieu |
Image of the day


Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

Latest Tweets

Most popular devotions

Receive a free reflection for Sundays every week via email

About Living Faith Living Faith Foundation Ambassador Privacy Policy F.A.Q. Contact Us

© 2023 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, lnc. All Rights Reserved.