I think if any of us were asked the question, “Do you love wisdom? Do you seek wisdom?” we would, at first, be a little taken aback. And then we would answer quickly “Of course!” with absolutely no doubt in our minds. But a different way of asking the question is this: “Are you making wise choices?” That’s a question that would put a fair few of us on the back foot. The virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom were all the same. They had the exact same intentions. They had the exact same stamina, or lack of it. They had the exact same knowledge of the night being dark and lamps being necessary. What made five foolish, and five wise? It was their choices. Only their choices set them apart. We may rely upon the wisdom of another — the parent who reminds us to go to confession, the friend who demurs when we start speaking gossip, the priest who preaches boldly from the pulpit against an injustice we lack the courage to denounce ourselves. But even if we feel safeguarded by their good influence, their wisdom won’t save us. We may possess a little wisdom ourselves — we may know well that a dark night is hard to navigate, and that we need the
assistance of a lamp. We may go to Mass once in a while, read the Bible when we have time and serve others when it’s convenient. But a lamp needs oil to burn in the darkness, just as wisdom requires action to be brought forth into the world. We may love God just as much as we should — our flesh may pine, our soul may thirst. But a parched field never brought rain on itself just by being dry. We must make the choice.
“Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.” — Psalm 63:4