In the readings for this Sunday, Nov. 12, we’re invited to spend some time with Wisdom. God’s Wisdom makes lives better, and prepares us to meet Jesus.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
The readings for this Sunday, Nov. 12, are all about God’s Wisdom and how it relates to our lives. Wisdom seeks us out, wants to draw us in. It helps us to see things as they are, and to act in ways that are right and good. It helps us to see the truth about our situations, and to not get caught up in fear or anxiety.
Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.
My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
The wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
You can read the full text of this Sunday’s readings here:
Wisdom is one of the major attributes of God. It’s also an attribute that God gives to people. We have the ability to, as people made in God’s image and likeness, be like God when we welcome Wisdom into our lives. God comes looking for us, and when we respond to God’s invitation, we begin to see more clearly what the world is all about. We hear in the first reading that Wisdom doesn’t disappoint us; that it helps us to be prudent, or careful in our actions, and helps us to be less anxious because our good choices bring us wholeness.
The second reading is a reminder to us when we might feel upset or lonely for those whom we miss, that God will always bring us back together some day. Even death can’t keep us away from those we love. When the time is right, we will all be together again. This can give us hope.
The Gospel teaches us to put our Wisdom into action. It tells us to be prepared. When the young women (us) who were supposed to meet the bridegroom (Jesus) at the gate, they were told to bring lamps. Lamps and light represent wisdom and truth. If we keep them with us, we will be ready to recognize Jesus when he comes to us. But, each of us has to be ready to take action ourselves–I can’t rely on anyone else to keep my relationship with God for me. I have to pray, learn, and treat people with kindness myself to respond to the Wisdom that God shares with me.
Who is wisest person you’ve ever met? What makes them wise?
Being prepared is an important theme right now because we’re coming to the close of the liturgical year. In two weeks, it will be the end of the year, and then Advent right after that. This week’s reading is a foreshadowing of what’s to come. How can Wisdom help you to be prepared in your life in general? What does Wisdom have to offer you? How does a person become wise?
The ten virgins are a reminder to us that we can’t rely on anyone else’s relationship with God for our own salvation. When our kids are little, they do rely on our relationship to help develop their own. How, as your children grow, can you help them to recognize God’s presence in their lives and help them to become more prepared to respond to it?
Bonus Question for all three groups:
Who is a model of Jesus for you?
A little lectio
The ancient practice of prayerfully reflecting on bits of Scripture is known as lectio divina. Want to try it out with your family? Head over to Lectio Divina for Kids to find out how to adapt this prayer practice for your kids.
A little Bible study
Want to do a little Bible study with your kids? Here are some tips:
- During Ordinary Time, the Church pairs the Old Testament and New Testament readings in a way that each sheds light on the other. Ask your kids to look for the common theme connecting the two readings. (Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it is subtle.) How does the “dialogue” between the readings help you understand them better?
- Get a New American Bible, Revised Edition, and take a look at the footnotes for these readings. How do they change your understanding of what is going on?
- Take a look at the context for the readings—what happens before, or after?
- Read the NABRE’s introduction to the book of the Bible that the readings are taken from. How does that help you understand the readings?
- If you don’t have a copy of the NABRE at home, you can view it online at the USCCB website at the Daily Readings web page. (The link will take you to today’s reading; click forward or backward on the dates to get to Sunday’s readings.)
For even more resources for breaking open this Sunday’s readings, head over to The Sunday Website.
The image for Breaking Open the Word at Home is taken from a 17th century illuminated manuscript by an anonymous (but very talented) artist. The text is from the beginning of the Book of Sirach, chapter 1, verses 1-12, which begins: “All wisdom is from the Lord and remains with him forever.”