Scripture: Lectionary 429. I Cor.1:17-25. Psalm 33:1-2.4-5.10.11. Matthew
Paul gives us one of the earliest theologies of the Cross in his first
chapter to the Corinthians. The redemption through Jesus takes place for
him through Jesus crucifixion and his death. This theme carries through
the rest of his epistles as we see him putting it within the context of
salvation history. Redemption through Jesus' death is part of God's plan.
He puts this within the context of divine Wisdom which confounds the Greek
( a term for the Gentiles here) and is absurd for his own people who do not
believe in Jesus' divinity. He writes, "The message of the cross is
complete obsurdity for those heading for ruin but to us who are
experiencing salvation it is the power of God." The first Gospel, that of
Mark, will also have a theology of the Cross and is even called the Gospel
of the Cross by spiritual writers.
In Matthew we see that redemption consists in being alert and awake to the
coming of Christ at the endtime. The eschatology of Matthew continues in
these last chapters and is bound up with salvation through following Jesus
in his sufferings, death on the cross, and his resurrection. Redemption is
brought about by Jesus who helps us then to work toward the goal of
entering the kingdom of God. Attentiveness and awareness are present in
both the first reading and in today's words from Jesus through the parable
of the wedding and the five and foolish virgins. The parable encourages
the reader and listener to live out in the present moment by being
attentive to the coming of the Lord in glory.
Eschatology thus is echoing redemption while redemption keeps us alert and
aware of the ultimate goal we intend to reach. Jesus helps us with the
interpretation of the parable by telling us, "The moral is: keep your eyes
open, for you know not the day nor the hour." The fact that we are called
to come into the home of the bridegroom in the parable indicates that we
are among the five persons who are wise and have prepared ourselves to
always be awake and attentive to the bridegroom. We are truly then among
the blessed and the joyous in the kingdom of God. Amen.
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