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32nd Sunday of Year A – 2023

Have you ever stood at a door knocking and… being refused entry?
You knew that some people were there but did not open.
Finally, they simply said that… they did not know you.
A very frustrating experience, if ever there was one!

This is a scene we find in today’s gospel text (Matthew 25:1-13).
It is entitled: Ten bridesmaids ­­­– five of them qualify as ‘sensible’, the others are said to be ‘foolish’.
This parable of Jesus is well known to us and its message also but…
We may tend to keep seeing it as a story and remain reluctant to see where we, ourselves, stand…

All ten bridesmaids fell asleep – the problem was not there.
But some of them had prepared for a long wait… the others had not…

Waiting – there is much waiting in our lives!
Situations when we must wait for something to happen, for someone to arrive –
this is familiar to all of us.

But there is a special kind of waiting…
It is waiting for… GOD…

This means that, first, we believe that he is indeed coming, coming to us, personally.
When will he reach us?
We do not know.
How will his presence be manifest?
This is also unknown and… unpredictable!

Like us, the apostles wanted to know, and they had asked Jesus:
“The apostles came and asked him privately,
‘Tell us when is this going to happen,
and what will be the sign of your coming’.”

He, himself, says: “I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7,12).

When they asked the question from Jesus, his apostles were thinking of the end of the world.
But this is not the only moment we should expect him.
He will definitely come to us… at the end of our lives, each one of us.
But again, there is more to his coming to us than this last moment of our existence.

In fact, God is constantly coming to us.
The sudden inspiration to help someone in need – he is coming…
The unexpected arrival of a hoped for visitor – he is coming…
The strength received to be faithful to a commitment – he is coming…
The compassion received from a friend in a time of loss – he is coming…
The health restored after a serious accident – he is coming…
The forgiveness received from him in spite of much unfaithfulness – he is coming…

But to see it all, one has to be… ‘sensible’ – having this special oil of perception of his constant coming!


Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:


Source: Image: Doyenné ­Pau – périphérie


World Sea Day – 28 September 2023

The World Sea Day has been marked since 1978 by decision of the 38th session of the International Marine Organization of November 1977, initially celebrated on March 17. Since 1980 it’s been celebrated on one of the days of the last week of September. The goal of the World Sea Day is drawing the community’s attention to problems, connected with the pollution of water basins, global warming and illegal fishing.

The sea always fascinated people. Many poets and artists worship the sea in their works while people of all walks of life annually dream about a holiday at the seaside.

At the same time, according to the UN, annually about 21 million barrels of oil leak into the ocean causing death of tens of thousands of seabirds and mammals.

Over the last 100 years 90% of the world reserves of tuna and codfish have been fished out.
The global warming has led to the rise of the world ocean water level by 10-25 cm. The myth that the global water resources are inexhaustible has seriously affected the biodiversity of the world ocean, Alexei Knizhnikov, the coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund’s department for the environmental policy in oil and gas sector, says.

« Just two examples. Whale fishery has almost killed some species of whales. The classical example for Russia is the gray whale in the Okhotsk Sea. It had been considered to be extinct way back in 20th century. But in the end of the 20th century a hundred of these whales was detected and now we are doing our best to preserve the population of these whales. The second example is the extinction of sturgeon because of very aggressive fishing. »

The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April when an explosion of an oil rig led caused a huge oil spill showed how terrible the negative impact of human beings on the environment can be, the expert says.

« That oil spill has halted the industrial fishing in the water area which size is equal to the size of Greece. The environment disasters are now getting country-scale and the next step is a continent-scale. »

Source: Text: IDEA International Dialogue for Environmental Action Image: