The first public prayer made on the people’s behalf at this Sunday’s Mass asks God to keep us safe - not just spiritually, but also mentally and physically. Only then can we freely pursue what really matters to God, not in the short term, but also in the long term. That is why, we must ask God to help us discern each step we take from here.
Almighty and merciful God,
graciously keep from us all adversity,
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue in freedom of heart
the things that are yours.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, (one) God, for ever and ever.
Entering into the short days and the longer nights of darkness fast approaching, we are reminded that even in the dead of night, Christ will enter and reach out His hand to us to grasp our hand, even from the sleep of death itself. (1 Thess 4:13ff)
That is why Christ in the Gospel (Matthew 25:1-13) echoing the advice from the Book of Wisdom, reminds us of the importance of always being prepared, being prudent not to exhaust the light of our faith, but instead to think ahead, not burn up all the oil in our lamps too quickly. We may need to keep some in reserve for future days when we truly will need it. Our light should always be a pleasing sight, always ready to welcome Christ.