Oil for the Lamp

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 25:1-13


There’s been a lot in the news over the past year about an almost epidemic level of sleep deprivation in our country.  So it seems a little weird or at least counter-intuitive to have Jesus urging us to stay awake…until we remember that he’s speaking in the metaphorical sense:  Stay spiritually awake and prepared!

Just as physical alertness is aided by good habits like a healthy diet, regular exercise, “unplugging” from our electronic devices at night, not consuming too much caffeine (gotta work on that one), and yes, adequate sleep, so it is with spiritual alertness.  It’s the product of good habits developed steadily over time rather than the otherworldly equivalent of a 5 Hour Energy shot.  For me, they’re the time-tested things like regular personal and communal prayer, meditation and contemplation, quiet and space, confession, spiritual direction and the Eucharist. These things are the oil in my lamp—nothing fancy, but essential.—JC