Friday, November 18, 2011


This weekend’s scripture anticipates the Advent theme of watchful waiting and preparation.  St. Paul reminds us to keep our eye on the prize, for this is the reward for all our work. Those who seek Wisdom will be busy, like Gerard Manley Hopkins’ peace-dove, who “comes with work to do, he does not come to coo, he comes to brood and sit.” The bridesmaids of the gospel story had time to brood and sit, as long as their lamps were full of oil. Certainly, those who suddenly find themselves jobless in this economy will need to take stock. What oil will keep our lamps burning till the king arrives — faith? hope? charity? wisdom? works? prayer? Whatever fuels them, our lamps will have to be lit to recognize the bridegroom if he appears unexpectedly in the dark.
       The traditional November commemoration of saints and souls will be expressed in our communion processional for the next 3 weeks. The refrain, “When we eat this bread and drink this cup,” is one of the memorial acclamations (now to be called “the mystery of faith”) from the revised missal and the one very similar to what we currently use. The verses this week echo St. Paul’s theme in Lucien Deiss’ familiar setting of 2 Timothy from the 60s, “Keep In Mind.” At 10:00, the verses reflect our Christian work: Jean Anthony Greif’s “We Are the Light of the World,” also written in the 60s. The first reading is reflected in “Eye Has Not Seen” (“teach us the wisdom of God”) and “Jesu, Joy of Our Desiring” (“holy wisdom, love most bright”). Certainly wisdom is all things bright and beautiful, brightening up the skies in our darkest night, and this is the text for “Song of Hope,” from the Robbie Seay Band. Another praise song, “My Reward,” is based on the texts from Matthew 25 which we will hear this week and next. We honor the saints as those who have brought wisdom to power, and so we begin the organ Masses with “For All the Saints.”