Five foolish and ve wise virgins are featured in today’s Gospel from Matthew. They may capture your attention at the beginning, but the last sentence puts the parable in perspective: “Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”That statement is enough to keep you awake because it can appear to refer to the time when our death might be. Yet, another way of looking at it is that it is a call to be alert to how the Lord is breaking into our world and what is expected from us now. The Lord breaks into our world all the time. Are we awake enough to recognize this when it happens, especially if it happens quietly and peacefully.

We 55 pilgrims arrived back here in the USA yesterday, so now we have jet lag. Our  final days on the pilgrimage took us through the northeast countryside of Spain and across the border into Lourdes, France. Here in 1858, the Blessed Mother appeared to a poor shepherd girl, Bernadette, 18 times. We visited the famous Grotto, the Rosary Basilica and the Basilica of Pius X. We joined
in the evening torchlight procession. Throughout the pilgrimage I had Mass for our group in some very beautiful places…and of course, we prayed for you. There is much for us to remember and to be grateful for…and we are happy to be home!

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.