A reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1:17-25)


Brothers and sisters:

Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel,

and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,

so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.


The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,

but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the learning of the learned I will set aside.

Where is the wise one?

Where is the scribe?

Where is the debater of this age?

Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?

For since in the wisdom of God

the world did not come to know God through wisdom,

it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation

to save those who have faith.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,

but we proclaim Christ crucified,

a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,

and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.



Responsorial Psalm (Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11)


R. (5) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Exult, you just, in the LORD;

praise from the upright is fitting.

Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;

with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.


R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

For upright is the word of the LORD,

and all his works are trustworthy.

He loves justice and right;

of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.


R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

The LORD brings to naught the plans of nations;

he foils the designs of peoples.

But the plan of the LORD stands forever;

the design of his heart, through all generations.


R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.




 Alleluia (Lk 21:36)

R. .Alleluia, alleluia.

Be vigilant at all times and pray,

that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.





From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 25:1-13)


Jesus told his disciples this parable:

“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins

who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom,

Five of them were foolish and five were wise.

The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,

brought no oil with them,

but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.

Since the bridegroom was long delayed,

they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

At midnight, there was a cry,

‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.

The foolish ones said to the wise,

‘Give us some of your oil,

for our lamps are going out.’

But the wise ones replied,

‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.

Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’

While they went off to buy it,

the bridegroom came

and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.

Then the door was locked.

Afterwards the other virgins came and said,

‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’

But he said in reply,

‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Therefore, stay awake,

for you know neither the day nor the hour.”




To hold vigil is to understand what enters my heart; it means to stop and examine my life. Am I a Christian? Am I raising my children well? Is my life Christian or is it worldly? How might I understand this? To respond to such questions we should look to “Paul’s recipe: look to the crucified Christ”. Indeed, it “only before the Lord’s Cross” that worldliness can be found and destroyed. This is precisely “the aim of the Crucifix before us: it is not an ornament” but “is precisely what saves us from these bewitchments, from these seductions that lead to worldliness”. (Santa Marta, 13 Oct 2017)