Gospel reflection: Stay awake

A prayer candle in Ethiopia CAFOD

Every Friday, we offer you  a reflection on the Sunday gospel. This week’s reflection was written by Rachel McCarthy, who works in CAFOD’s Theology Programme.

Based on the gospel for Sunday 12 November – Matthew 25:1-13 “Stay awake.”

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It’s midnight. The wedding attendants have been waiting for a long time for the bridegroom. At last, he arrives. The five sensible ones are admitted to the feast, but the other five suddenly find they are unprepared. They scrabble around in a panic, and set out to find oil for their lamps.

After some time, the wedding attendants come back, knocking on the door and calling for the bridegroom to let them in. But it is too late. The doors are shut.

Like the five sensible ones who take oil with their lamps, we are called to prepare for the kingdom of heaven and to keep our gaze fixed on Christ. We must be prepared to show our love for Christ through our actions.

Download prayer resources for the World Day of the Poor

Pope Francis says, “Love has no alibi. Whenever we set out to love as Jesus loved, we have to take the Lord as our example; especially when it comes to loving the poor.”

Our love for Christ is inseparable from our love for our neighbour, especially the poorest amongst us. So let us try this week, as we prepare for the World Day of the Poor, to live out our faith through our actions.

God of light, you call us to stay awake, to see you before us in the guise of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers. May we look into their eyes, and through your grace, may we love one another as you do. Amen.



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