“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Matthew 25:13

Monday, 9 November 2020

Matthew 25:1-13

Yesterday we heard this Gospel text at the Sunday Eucharist. The liturgical year is fast coming to an end. Matthew’s Gospel invites us to step back and take stock, to look at our lives and, perhaps, ask ourselves the searching question: “Am I living my life with depth?”

The parable Jesus tells us is a stark and sobering reminder to us of the fate of those who are not living with depth. It also tells us what happens to those who are living with quality and depth.

Half of the maidens in the Gospel did not live in the present. They had not brought enough oil with them to keep their lamps burning. They missed out because they were out shopping and not present when the bridegroom arrived.

The same happens to us. We can become so focused on what we are doing that we do not live in the unrepeatable present, the gift of this present moment that God has given to us. Sometimes we are so busy worrying about the future, struggling with the past, holding onto our materialistic desires and dreams or unhelpful attitudes that we, like the maidens, miss what is happing in the present. We miss God’s action in our lives.

This does not mean that we do not prepare for the future or seek to deal with the past. It means that we consciously choose, each day, to live that day with quality and depth holding the past and future in balance. We intentionally make time and space to be in the present moment.

God is at work in our lives at all times. We miss much of the Lord’s action in us and around us because our attention is pulled in so many different directions. We are being invited to become more intentionally conscious of God’s work in us and how that work helps us let go of the past and embrace the future in freedom. We can only do that when we stop and are present to ourselves and the Lord. When we become more conscious of the present and God’s action here and now, we begin to live with quality and depth.

How can you become more intentionally conscious of the present moment? What is the depth and quality of the life you are living?

Lord God,

It is so easy to get stuck in the past or desire a future. Teach me to see that the present is all I have; the present holds the past and future in balance. Help me to live in the present and in doing so, see how you are at work every moment of my life.


Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
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