Matthew 25: 1-13

Illustrated New Resources

  • Proper 27A (2020)

    by Joe Foltz
    There’s just one problem with the bridesmaids—five are wise and five are foolish. The Greek word here is moros, which is where we get our English word “morons.” So, half are wise and half are morons. In this story, there is an easy way to tell who is wise and who is a moron—the wise bring extra oil and the morons don’t...
  • Oil Shortage or Just Mean Chicks?

    by Owen Griffiths
    Did you ever see the movie Bridesmaids? It’s a comedy about two girls who compete with each other over who can make the glitzier, more elegant, and more fabulous contribution to their girlfriend’s wedding experience The competition gets pretty fierce (and funny, too!) at times, and there’s a not-too-subtle streak of catty meanness running through the story line. If you were to take a literal reading of the parable Jesus tells in the appointed Gospel for Pentecost 23, Year A (Matthew 25:1-13), some of these bridesmaids[i] seem pretty mean-spirited...
  • Be Prepared

    by Mary Ellen Helms
    Have you ever known a “prepper”? Preppers are people who prepare for emergencies or disasters by storing large quantities of items they might need. With some stockpiling dehydrated food, water, flashlights, extra batteries, and even ammunition, prepping has become a growing industry in the United States during the past few years. It has seen an enormous uptick during the Covid-19 Pandemic. In lots of ways, this makes sense. At the onset of the virus, there were shortages of everyday items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and PPE (personal protection equipment). Fortunately, many of the supply chains have caught up to the extreme demand placed on them earlier this year...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 27A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    William Willimon has written that when he was a young pastor in rural Georgia, a dear uncle of one of his congregation’s members died suddenly, and though this uncle was not a member of Willimon’s church, he and his wife decided to attend the funeral. So Willimon and his wife drove to a back-woods, off-brand Baptist church for the funeral one sunny afternoon. It was, Willimon said, unlike anything he had ever seen. They wheeled the casket in and soon thereafter the pastor began to preach. With great fire and flaying his arms all over the place, this preacher thundered, “It’s too late for Joe! He might have wanted to do this or that in his life, but it’s too late for him now! He’s dead. It’s all over. He might have wanted to straighten out his life, but he can’t now. It’s finished!” As Willimon sat there, he thought to himself, “Well, this is certainly a great comfort for this grieving family!”
  • Postponement

    by John Kavanaugh, SJ
    To be wise, then, is not to calculate the time of departure. It is to spend the present moment—the waiting—well. We rush through time to get things done. When we are not getting things done, we think we are wasting time. But the real waste of time is the way we rush through it. We may think we are active, but we are really inattentive. In hurrying to prepare ourselves for things not yet upon us, we are unprepared for what is here. And sooner or later, our gas runs out...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

[Based on requests from several members (although I am reluctant to do so since my favorites may not be those of others), I am listing here some of my own favorite resources. Members now have the ability to rate all of the resources on a 5-point system using the stars listed below each resource!! FWIW!!]
  • The Perfect Parable for the Dr. Phil Show

    by Richard Bryant
    ("The second important point in this parable is the oil itself. The oil becomes a character, a figure in its own right. Do we have enough oil? Will we be able to get more oil if ours runs out? The oil, even more so than the bridegroom, is driving this story. At one level the oil represents the oil in the lights burning in the temple. The oil represents the presence, work, and love of God; in our lives and the lives of those attending this wedding...")
  • Pity the Fools

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis!!
  • The Wise And Foolish Virgins

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Several years ago there was a first-rate comic strip called Calvin and Hobbes. It was about a young boy and his imagined adventures with his toy tiger. In one strip, Calvin, dressed in a large space helmet with a cape on his shoulders, appears in the living room in front of his mother..." and several other illustrations)
  • The Wise Virgins

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("A college choir was set to present its program of music in a large church. The program of sacred song was to be carried live by a local radio station. When everything appeared to be ready, the announcer made his final introduction and waited for the choir director to begin..." and several other illustrations)
  • The Light of Love

    by Sil Galvan
    The day was Thankful Thursday, our "designated day" of service. It's a weekly tradition that my two little girls and I began some years ago. Thursday has become our day to go out in the world and make a positive contribution. On this particular Thursday, we had no idea exactly what we were going to do, but we knew that something would present itself. Driving along a busy Houston road, praying for guidance in our quest to fulfill our weekly Act of Kindness, the noon hour appropriately triggered hunger pangs in my two little ones. And they wasted no time in letting me know, chanting, "McDonald's, McDonald's, McDonald's". I relented and began searching earnestly for the nearest McDonald's.
  • Proper 27A

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • Lent 4C

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Exegetical Notes (Matthew 25:1-13)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Lent 4C)

    by Various Authors
    ("I went to the hardware store the other day to buy a snow shovel, because we all were told about a storm coming that night. Needless to say, I was not alone. The hardware store was full of other last-minute shoppers looking to do the same thing. As I stood there in line with my shovel and my bag of salt, I thought about the parable of the ten maidens and I thought about a new way to tell the story: Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten people who sat down one night to watch the evening news..." and many more!!)

Illustrated Resources from 2017 to 2019

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  • Proper 27A (2017)

    by Luke Bouman
    I was maybe 5 or 6 years old and was too excited to sleep. My parents had informed me that my Uncle Bob was coming to visit, I was maybe 5 or 6 years old and was too excited to sleep. My parents had informed me that my Uncle Bob was coming to visit, sometime during the night. It was a special visit. Bob was bringing his new wife, Kayoko, from Japan to meet the family for the first time. Uncle Bob was the stuff of legend for a young boy. He was in the Air Force, stationed in Japan, and he got to fly airplanes for a living. This was back in the day when air travel was less pedestrian than it is today. Not only was flying a big deal, but Japan was exotic and mysterious and the idea of an Aunt from Japan was something great beyond my imagination. But since they would be flying on military aircraft, the travel was unpredictable and we didn’t know exactly when they might arrive. We only knew the visit would be brief, by morning they would be gone. My parents had warned me to go to bed and go to sleep right away so that I could wake up for the visit. But I couldn’t sleep. It was too much to anticipate and too much for my little brain to comprehend to allow me to quickly fall to sleep. I lay awake listening for the door, ready to bound down the stairs. I fought sleep as long as I could before succumbing to peaceful slumber. I awoke the next morning to the bitter news that Uncle Bob and Aunt Kay had come and gone. My parents had tried to rouse me, but I was so deep in slumber that they couldn’t get me to wake up. The only consolation I had was the present of a toy air force jet that was left behind. I was inconsolable...
  • Be Prepared

    by Bob Cornwall
    I read messages on Facebook and Twitter this past week that suggested that prayers are irrelevant. After all, this massacre took place in a church. The people who died were gathered for prayer and worship. What about the people who were murdered in a Charleston, South Carolina church, while they gathered for prayer? I agree that action is needed, but is prayer really irrelevant? The voices I heard after Charleston and after Sutherland Springs were words of faith and trust and hope. Yes, the people grieve, but they also put their trust in God. They had oil in their lamps...
  • Oil for Our Lamps

    by Janet Hunt
    In fact, this came to me again just a few days back that my lamp was ‘dry.’ It had, quite simply, been a heartbreaking few days. (One would think that after nearly three decades in this work, one would no longer be surprised, but I was.) I am not at liberty to share the details, except for what it did to me. I walked away and I wept at the brokenness which had been visited on one innocent one and at my seeming inability to do anything but listen and pray and speak a reminder of God’s constant presence. And yet, it surely seemed like not nearly enough...
  • Ordinary 32A (2017) and Week Following

    by Elaine Ireland
    When this passage rolls around, I am always reminded St. Teresa of Calcutta’s beautiful prayer: Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say, “I do not know you” (Mt. 25:12). My daughters, what are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: Faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting. These are the true drops of love…Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies...
  • Is Your Self-Image Holding You Captive?

    by Terrance Klein
    Consider the case of Senator John Hemphill of Texas, a Confederate politician, who died in 1862. Careful, do you really want to draw your moral picture of the man on the basis of one sentence? Maybe sometimes—but not most times. John Hemphill was the son of a Presbyterian minister—and a Scottish Covenanter minister at that, which means that his family did not even accept the U.S. Constitution because it failed to acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ. For these early fundamentalists, how could a government be called good if it failed to acknowledge the savior’s rule?...
  • The Foolish Virgins

    Painting by Francesco Mazzola
    After stints in Rome and Bologna, the artist Francesco “Parmigianino” Mazzola (1503–1540) returned to his native Parma to paint the vault and apse of Santa Maria della Steccata in 1530–31. Progress on the project was slow, and the commission was eventually given to another artist. Parmigianino did finally manage to paint The Wise Virgins and The Foolish Virgins, based on Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:1–13...
  • Giving of Ourselves

    by Jim McCrea
    As Marianne Williamson once wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in EVERYONE and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”...
  • How to Stay Awake (Matthew)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    The ancient writer Pliny, in The Natural History (Book X. Chapter 30), writes: "During the night, also, they (cranes) place sentinels on guard, each of which holds a little stone in its claw: if the bird should happen to fall asleep, the claw becomes relaxed, and the stone falls to the ground, and so convicts it of neglect. The rest sleep in the meanwhile, with the head beneath the wing, standing first on one leg and then on the other: the leader looks out, with neck erect, and gives warning when required."
  • Staying Awake

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    In his autobiography, Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis recounts a conversation he once had with an old monk. Kazantzakis, a young man at the time, was visiting a monastery and was very taken by a famed ascetic, Father Makarios, who lived there. But a series of visits with the old monk left him with some ambivalent feelings as well. The monk’s austere lifestyle stirred a certain religious romanticism in Kazantzakis, but it repelled him too; he wanted the romanticism, but in a more-palatable way. Here’s their conversation as Kazantzakis records it: Yours is a hard life, Father. I too want to be saved. Is there no other way? More agreeable? asked the ascetic, smiling compassionately. More human, Father...
  • Ever Ready

    by David Sellery
    The scientific community got a terrible shock a while back. Turns out that Einstein may have gotten it wrong… big time. The speed of light may not be the universal constant he thought it was. Scientists have successfully fired sub-atomic particles faster than the speed of light. So, in one shot, the brilliant theory on which all modern physics has been built is exposed as potentially flawed. Change is unsettling. Profound change is profoundly unsettling...
  • It's the End of the World As We Know It

    by Danny Stone
    Ever listened to REM’s 1987 classic, “It’s the End of the World?” Playing it now prompts listeners to ponder recent disasters. Texas was battered by Harvey. Irma devastated the Caribbean Islands and rolled across Florida. Hurricane Nate made landfall in Mississippi. Puerto Rico is coping with the overwhelming effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Forest fires burned more than a million acres in Montana and scorched California’s Napa Valley. The Vegas gunmen opened fire from his hotel suite. World leaders threaten annihilation, and you cannot even talk about football without starting a fight. Are we watching the end of the world? What’s next? Elvis is still dead, right? Will The Walking Dead become a reality show?...
  • Always Ready

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    Some see this as a message of warning by Jesus to the Jews of his day who should have been prepared for his coming but were not. Others see it as a parable of Jesus that was reworked by Matthew to be used in the conflict between first-century Christians and hostile Jews. Still others see it as a reference by Jesus to his second coming, at which time those who are ready will join Jesus and those who are not ready will be shut out. While any or all of these interpretations may be correct, we need to remember that a parable makes one point. We do not need to make it into an allegory in which every person and every action stands for a particular person or situation. It is more important to apply this parable to ourselves than to limit its application to people in the past or the future...

Illustrated Resources from 2014 to 2016

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  • Don't Miss the Party!

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Lily was expecting Scott to pick her up for a date. She was dressed up and waiting patiently. However, after an hour had gone by, she figured she had been stood up, so she took off her makeup, put on her pyjamas, gathered all the junk food in the pantry and sat down to watch TV with the dog. As her favourite show was just coming on, the doorbell rang. It was Scott. He stared at her wide-eyed, 'I'm two hours late, and you're still not ready?'...")
  • The Foolish Bridesmaids

    by Janet Hunt
    ("I was in the 3rd grade. Our class room was on the second floor. There were two entries --- the one we normally used and the one we used for recess. The one we used for recess was actually an old iron fire escape. Without a key, the door only opened from the inside. It was afternoon in the fall of the year and we were outside for recess. Normally, I would have been playing with friends from my own class, but the second grade class was enjoying recess at the same time. My sister, Martha, was in that class and I got to playing with her. When I looked up again, my class was gone...")
  • Awakening to God's Presence

    by Kirk Alan Kubicek
    ("recent research on economic success suggests that delayed gratification may lead to more sustainable innovation and success. The study is based on parking habits: Do you park head-in to a parking space, or do you back in, making it easier to pull out when you leave? Brain research has long concluded that hard work and persistent effort helps to 'grow the brain'. That is, we can make ourselves smarter and more successful through hard work...")
  • Getting God Into a Suitcase

    by Andrew Prior
    ("Share your oil. Spread your light around. Don't put it under a bushel basket. Matthew was right. It's vitally important. It's our living, and our good deeds, which show God to people. As Paul said, we "are the body of Christ." It is through us that people can find the freedom of God and the unconditional love of God...")
  • Wise and Foolish

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("Yet that nagging dread of missing the boat remains. I pray that heaven, in its sudden openings in our lives, will have room for the foolish, whose too-human stories bring us all together, and always help me to feel at home and loved...")
  • Where's the Bridegroom?

    by Robert Stuhlmann
    "I remember the wedding of a Liberian couple. The groom, because of work and the slowness of the jeweler, had left to the morning of the wedding the drive into NYC to get the ring and return. It was a hot Saturday; the bride arrived in a white limo and colorful traditional Liberian dress. But the groom was stuck in New York gridlock. The temperature in the 1856 Church rose to the eighties and nineties. Three hours later the groom arrived..."
  • Not Now, I'm Busy!

    by Keith Wagner
    ("In the movie, 'Gone With the Wind', there is a famous scene where Scarlett O'Hara says, 'I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.' The indomitable heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, struggles to find love during the chaotic Civil War years and afterwards, and ultimately must seek refuge for herself and her family back at the beloved plantation Tara...")
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Judgment

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2013

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  • Proper 27A (2011)(Amos and Matthew)

    by Brendan Byrne
    ("Have you ever wondered why films like Captain Spaulding, Duck Soup, and A Night at the Opera seem to revolve around Groucho Marx unleashing a string of insults at a stuffy society matron? It was not merely because such a character was the perfect foil for the Marx Brothers' anarchic brand of humour; or, indeed, because they were getting a cheap laugh at the expense of someone else...")
  • That’s Snooze to Me

    by Rob Elder
    Two old school Quaker elders were traveling once under a religious concern to a small rural meeting. On the way back it began to snow heavily and their carriage became stuck in a snowbank. The two elders finally made it to a farmhouse just as it became dark, and were welcomed for the night. But the house was cold, and their attic room was like an icebox. The older of the elders stripped to his underwear and jumped into a feather bed, pulling the blankets over him. The younger elder, feeling a bit embarrassed said, “Excuse me, Friend, but does not thou think we ought to say our prayers before retiring?” The other elder stuck one eye out from under the covers. “Son,” he said, “I keep prayed up ahead for just such situations as this, and so should thee.”...
  • Filling Stations

    by Anna Carter Florence
    ("I think that's one of the hardest things about this parable....The time will come when you have to draw on the oil you have, right there, on your body, in your flask....")
  • Ordinary 32A (2008)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a candidate traveling franticly around his constituency at the end of a long and difficult campaign. He was under constant, as he saw it, unfair attack from his opponent who was an unscrupulous man and from hostile media who reported false stories about him and his family every day...")
  • Wisdom

    by Denis Hanly, MM
    I’ll close with this with my favourite person in Wah Fu Chuen. there used to be a lady, when I walked down the stairs on my way to say Mass in the schoolyard, and her job was to take care of the garbage. You can imagine the garbage in this place. They used to bring all the garbage in the evening and they’d put it in this one place and just dump it all around. And her job was to tidy up the garbage. That was her job. And it came from all the housing estate. And I’d look at her, and she’d be busy there, and I’d say to her, “Ah Tai. How are you?” “Oh great, Father, great! Yes, it’s wonderful. Isn’t it a nice day, no rain today.” And here she’s just putting garbage into garbage and piling it up. And I had this funny feeling. Day after day, I’d go down there and have this little chat. And every time I left her, my heart was full of joy, because this lady could make garbage safe. She did it with such … She knew that … Now, I’ll tell you, this is also true, the only person in all of Wah Fu Chuen that was necessary, totally necessary to everybody in Wah Fu Chuen, was the lady who tidied up the garbage and put it away, because, if she went, the whole of Wah Fu Chuen would be covered with garbage. So her job was vital and she was vital, because she did everything with great feeling in her heart that she, at her old age (this lady’s in her sixties or seventies), could serve the community and had a place in the community, and she was quite happy. And I’ll always remember her as my favourite garbage lady...
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 27A)(2008)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("William Willimon has written that when he was a young pastor in rural Georgia, a dear uncle of one of his congregation's members died suddenly, and though this uncle was not a member of Willimon's church, he and his wife decided to attend the funeral...")
  • Ready to Shine

    by Kate Huey
    includes several quotes
  • Ancient DNA or Communal Care, Now...

    by Rex Hunt
    In his book Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, Bryan Sykes tells about a nine thousand-year-old skeleton found in Cheddar, England. The skeleton is affectionately known as the Cheddar Man. Dr Sykes and his team were able to extract DNA from the dentine powder of the nine thousand-year-old Cheddar Man. A local television station got wind of the project. So they held a contest to see whether any of the locals were a DNA match and thus related to the Cheddar Man. Guess what? They found an identical match! A local high school history teacher by the name of Adrian Targett turned out to be a DNA match to the nine thousand-year-old Cheddar Man.
  • The Terrible Speed of Mercy (Matthew and Thessalonians)(2011)

    by James McCoy
    ("The narrative world of Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away is full of overpoweringly visceral, sudden inbreakings. Old Tarwater is a backwoods prophet who had been called in his early youth and had set out for the city to proclaim the destruction awaiting a world that had abandoned its Savior...")
  • Grief, Fear and Rapturous Welcomes

    by Nathan Nettleton
    In his great novel Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut Jr has his main character, Billy Pilgrim, abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. The Tralfamadorians can see in four dimensions, and the fourth dimension is time. The Tralfamadorians describe the human perspective of time as being like travelling on a train through the Rocky Mountains while strapped immovably to flat wagon, unable to move your head, and with your only view being through a long length of fixed pipe. Thus your only view of the Rocky mountains is a continuous line seen one centimetre circle at a time, and you can never move your gaze forward or back. The Tralfamadorians on the other hand, could see the whole mountain range at once and look at any point of it, forward or back, any time they liked. So if your only view of time is through the pipe, and you pass the point where someone dies, you can never see them alive again, but the Tralfamadorians can see them dead here and alive just back there anytime they choose...
  • Ordinary 32A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("Among the firemen who rushed into the World Trade Center was their chaplain, Father Mychal Judge. The fire service knows that women and men who every day face the possibility of a fiery death need to be close to God. So they have their own priest to go with them and face the same risks with them. And so, when the call came, he was on duty and he went with them into the burning building...")
  • Always a Bridesmaid

    by Michael Phillips
    ("Corinne Ware, in her book Saint Benedict on the Freeway suggests we live our lives at such a rapid pace, one-hundred miles an hour, that we have no time for "re-collecting," a term she uses to describe being aware, truly aware, in some deep, centered sense, that God is with you, here, now...")
  • Saving From...

    by Andrew Prior
    (includes several quotes)
  • Midnight Oil

    by Jan Richardson
    ("I once heard Jim Wallis tell a story about a colleague living in a village in Central America. She worked in a community that was marginalized in all kinds of ways. She poured herself into her work for social justice...")
  • Power Failures and Power Surges

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Due to a big increase in traffic to the San Juan Islands, a little 'spur' called 'Washington State Highway 20 West' is being transformed. It used to be a simple two-lane road, dotted with feed processing plants, great breakfast diners, and picture-postcard tulip fields....")
  • Would You Be a Saint?

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("If it bleeds, it leads.' Have you heard that before? 'If it bleeds, it leads' has long been the mantra determining the biggest news stories on any given day. The more gory, gruesome, or grizzly a tale to tell, the better chance of it grabbing our attention and keeping us tuned in....")

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

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  • Burn Out

    by Mickey Anders
    ("I don't know who invented the word 'burnout', but it seems to be a good term for describing a condition that many of us feel at times. Burnout is emotional exhaustion or what some have called compassion fatigue...")
  • Every Tub On Its Own Bottom

    by Mickey Anders
    ("Back in Arkansas, we have many of what my grandmother called 'old sayings'. In fact, my grandmother began most of her sentences with the preface, 'As the old saying goes…' One of my favorites from my Arkansas days was 'Every tub sits on it's own bottom'...")
  • Living as Though the End Were Already Here

    by Hubert Beck
    ("Mystery tales can be told in either of two ways. One way is to leave the reader in suspense until the very end. Perhaps only on the last page does one learn the answer to the mystery thriller that has unfolded through many pages...")
  • The Bridegroom Is Coming

    by Peter J. Blackburn
    ("In September, 1985, the camera-equipped Argo robot submarine of the USA-France expedition photographed and confirmed the wreckage of the luxury liner Titanic resting 13,120 feet down on the Atlantic ocean floor. In its day, the Titanic was the world's largest ship, weighing 46,328 tons, 882 ½ feet long with 3 anchors weighing more than 10 tons each...")
  • Be Prepared for Good Things

    by John Temple Bristow
    ("Several years ago, my wife Christy and I were sitting the mezzanine of a Holiday Inn in Giza, Egypt, located just a short walk from the Great Pyramids. Suddenly we heard loud, mid-eastern style music coming up from the lobby. We peeked down the open stairway and saw a remarkable wedding procession...")
  • Filling Our Lamps

    by Bede Camera, OSB
    ("I tried to write a homily this week, but I got flooded with instant messages and it was impossible to get anything done. And then I found this fantastic new game Bubblegum of Doom and I’ve been playing it all week, day and night. You know how it is, don’t you, when you really get excited about something and it becomes the most important thing in your life and the more you do it the more you want to have more, and more, and more...")
  • Vocation, Vocation, Vocation: Your Pathway to Immortality

    by Delle Chatman
    ("I am putting all of my talents at the Lord's disposal these days, all of them. It is something I realized I must do after a brush with death a couple of years ago...")
  • Keeping Focused

    by Tom Cox
    ("Whenever we run out of anything, whether food, money, time, patience, we feel 'put out', inconvenienced - and a little foolish. Sometimes running out implies that we were short to begin with, that we failed to notice the shortfall and that we acted too late to remedy the situation. In this regard we're all shortsighted...")
  • Non-Transferable Source

    by Tom Cox
    ("The fact that five felt it wise to provide extra oil proves the clincher. What is this oil? It could be the oil of faith, which can be shallow and superficial, more doctrine than faith, more practice than belief...")
  • Are You Ready?

    by James Farfaglia
    ("many years ago, George Bush, as Vice President, represented our country at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed...")
  • In It For the Long Run

    by Graham Fowler
    ("The Marathon is a long, grueling run. It's about 26 miles, and good athletes finish it in about 2 hours. But along the way, every athlete hits a "wall". It's not a physical wall, its psychological. About 20 miles into the race their body is tired, screaming from the exertion...")
  • Be Ready!

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("A preacher was telling the story, a parable, of the wise and foolish girls to a group of teenage boys. He concluded his address with a rhetorical question saying: 'Young men, I ask you, where would you rather be? Here, in the light, at the feast for the bridegroom, or there, out in the dark with a group of foolish young girls?...")
  • Remembrance Sunday

    by Anne Gordon
    ("Some of you may have read the book by Vera Brittain Testament of Youth. It was her account of her early life, and in particular of her experiences in the First World War. It is a marvelous first hand account of momentous and dreadful events...")
  • Ordinary 32A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Would that you were hot or cold, but since you are lukewarm I will vomit you out of my mouth. The unwise bridesmaids are slackers, giddy, silly young women who wanted to be part of the dining and music and dancing at the wedding party but as many young people of either gender do...")
  • Ordinary 32A (2002)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time, class of high school juniors were preparing to take the tests that would determine which college might be interested in having them as its students. The brightest student in the class didn’t worry about their chances...")
  • Ordinary 32A (1999)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there were two girls who had been friends for as long as they could remember. They went to the same grammar school and the same high school. One of the girls, Janie, was always at the top of her class. The other, Beth, usually made it to just above or just below the middle in ranking...")
  • Ordinary 32 (1996)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a terrible basketball team called the Bulls. They were a dull and uninteresting team, a perennial loser in a town which knew only perennial losers. The arena in which they played was at the most one-quarter filled when they played home games...")
  • Ordinary 32A (2002)

    by Roger Haugen
    ("There is a slogan written on the wall of a football locker room somewhere that says, 'Championships are won when the stands are empty'. When you think about it you know it is true. If it were not for hard work at many practices when no one is watching, a team would never get to the championship game...")
  • Be Ready!

    by Mark Haverland
    ("My mother was famous for a lot of reasons. One of these reasons was her purse. She had an entire hardware store in her purse. She could provide just about everything you might possibly want, from a toilet seat cover to a breath mint. Her motto was 'Always be ready for any emergency..." and other illustrations)
  • I Want to Be Ready!

    by Mark Haverland
    ("I heard a delightful story this week about a poacher named Quill. Quill was always hunting and fishing out of season. The game warden knew what Quill was up to, but could never catch him in the act. One day, the game warden decided on a bold plan...")
  • That Which Cannot Be Borrowed

    by Peter Haynes
    ("Two Quaker elders of the old school were traveling once under a religious concern to a small rural meeting. On the way back it began to snow heavily and their carriage became stuck in a snowbank. The two elders finally made it to a farmhouse just as it became dark, and were welcomed for the night. But the house was cold, and their attic room was like an icebox....")
  • Ordinary 32A (1999)

    by Ben Helmer
    ("Harlin was an older single man who had a lot of ideas about how to use his modest wealth to help other people. He kept trying new things. He paid for flying lessons for troubled boys because he believed focusing on something as demanding as flying would be good discipline for them...")
  • Surprise Party!

    by Don Hoffman
    ("On December 2, 1990, there was supposed to be an awful earthquake hit the New Madrid fault in southern Missouri. The Indiana church where I was minister at the time even voted to buy earthquake insurance, although we were 200 miles from the potential ground zero...")
  • Be Vigilant

    by John Jewell
    "One of my favorite people and his wife went to play golf one afternoon -- two hours later he was in the hospital near death. Almost at the same time, a young father in this congregation went to his job as a loading dock manager for a local trucking firm and was crushed to death between a truck and the loading dock when a parking brake failed..."
  • Choose This Day

    by Beth Johnston
    "The game Monopoly is a popular board game in which players attempt to amass as much property and money as they can. Those who play it discover that once you get a little ahead it is a whole lot easier to stay there and once you get behind it is very difficult to catch up..." and other illustrations
  • Proper 27A (2002)

    by Linda Kraft
    "There's a true story that comes form the sinking of the Titanic. A frightened woman found her place in a lifeboat that was about to be lowered into the raging North Atlantic. She suddenly thought of something she needed, so she asked permission to return to her stateroom before they cast off. She was granted three minutes or they would leave without her..."
  • Be Prepared

    by Ben Manning
    ("Have you ever been tested to see if you were ready for something? The ceilings in our house have little devices called 'smoke detectors'. There are little buttons on them that are faintly lighted that you can push and hear the device make a loud screeching ear-piercing noise...")
  • Is Your Lamp Lit?

    by Ray Osborne
    ("Some years ago I took a leave of absence from the pastorate for health reasons. I opened my own investment office where I had the ability to sell Mutual Funds and other investments. Whenever someone would call my office to inquire about making an investment they were always interested in how much of a profit they would experience because of their investment...")
  • Proper 27A (2002)

    by Joe Parrish
    ("In 1789 during a session of the Connecticut House of Representatives and as Jonathan Dayton of our St. John's congregation here was signing the Constitution of the United States, there was an ominous darkening of the sky. Several Representatives thought it was so dark that the end of time was at hand, and they were pushing for adjournment...")
  • Making Sure You've Got Enough Oil

    by John Pavelko
    ("Carol and I were reminded of this on a hike with another couple into the Enchantments. Our route took us over Asgard Pass with an elevation of 7600 ft. We knew that the weather in the mountains could be severe in the fall and so planned to take extra food and clothing...")
  • Living on the Verge

    by Michael Phillips
    ("I recall a story, though I can't remember from where - of a soldier returning from the wars. One day he happened upon a village with an inn, and stopped to rest for the night. When ordering his dinner, the innkeeper's daughter explained there would be no potatoes in the stew, for the dangerous axe of a dangerous man blocked the way to the root cellar...")
  • Something About Virgins

    by Bruce Prewer
    ("An example comes to mind from the writings of Joy Davidman, who married the English scholar and author C.S. Lewis. Davidson was at her typewriter busy at writing an article about loving one’s neighbour. The telephone rang. Muttering words that were censorable, she broke off in mid sentence...")
  • It's Time to Add Oil

    by Elton Richards
    ("The late Frederick Speakman, noted Presbyterian minister, told the story of shaking hands at the door one Sunday when the service was over. As he came back down the aisle the lights were already turned out. He sensed that strange aliveness of an empty church just after worship...")
  • Seize the Moment!

    by Paul Rooney
    ("On the morning of 9/11, just seconds before the tragic events of that day, something else was taking place that has escaped the attention of most folks. There was a small group of people who were meeting just a few blocks away at City Hall in NYC, to preview and select a final model of a proposed statue...")
  • Bridesmaids Revisited

    by Norm Seli
    ("I imagine ten women preparing for the wedding and meeting with the oil salesman. 'It’s a big wedding.' They explain. 'Oh well, then,' he smiles, You will be needing oil.' They laugh, of course they will need oil. 'Perhaps you should have some extra, just in case.'...")
  • People Get Ready

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Have you ever been unprepared? I'll never forget the afternoon I had conducted a funeral for one of the members of our congregation. As we drove into the cemetery, I noticed two tents set up and people gathered at both. I was riding with the funeral director so I asked him which tent was ours. When we got there, I conducted the graveside services...")
  • Oil Shortage

    by Alex Thomas
    (includes several illustrations)
  • To Live Or Not To Live

    by Alex Thomas
    ("There is some wisdom in the words of the song sung by the country singer Tim McGraw Live Like You Were Dying. When I first heard this song I thought of the words, 'Live each day as if it your last, and one day you'll be right.' The song is not about death as much as it is about life...")
  • Only the Wise Make Plans

    by Keith Wagner
    ("In the movie Gone With the Wind, there is a famous scene where Scarlett O'Hara says, I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.'...")
  • Planners and Procrastinators

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Planners are people who do preventative maintenance. They prioritize their lives, schedule time for important things, and think in the long term. On the other hand, Procrastinators are those who put things off...")
  • A Ready Faith

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("In a television MASH episode that I remember watching some time ago; Hawkeye is called out to the battlefront due to a shortage of doctors there. When he arrives, there are bombs and bullets flying all over...")
  • What Time Is It?

    by Thomas Woodward
    ("Once upon a time there was a small kingdom whose only industry was its agriculture. Everyone was happy and everyone had plenty to eat -- until one year, when it was discovered to everyone's horror, that something terrible had gone wrong with that year's crops...")

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

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Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

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Other Resources from 2008 to 2013

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Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

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Other Resources from 2002 to 2004

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Other Resources from the Archives

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Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources and Dramas

The Classics

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Pentecost 24

    by William Cwirla
  • Tending God's Light

    by Kate Huey
    (includes numerous quotes)
  • Challenges of Discipleship: Readiness

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Domingo 32A (2017)

    by Carmelo Mele, OP
  • Oil Crisis

    by Kathy Donley
    Perhaps you have heard the story of the little village in the French Alps named Le Chambon. This village is known because, unlike so many other French towns, they hid their Jews from the Nazis in World War II. The villagers devised a wide array of means in an attempt to save their town's Jews from deportation. How did this happen? A major reason was the preaching of Pastor André Trocmé, who Sunday after Sunday, preached simple biblical sermons to his flock. One old woman faked a heart attack when the Nazis came looking for Jews because she had a family hidden under her chicken house. When asked why she did this, she said "Pastor always told us, 'One day Jesus will come into your life and ask you to do something just for him.' On the Sunday that the Nazis came to our town, in his sermon, the pastor repeated those words, 'One day Jesus will come into your life and ask you to do something just for him.' Well, everybody in the congregation quietly nodded their heads. We all knew what we had to do. We were prepared for it."..
  • It's the Waiting, Stupid!

    by Richard Bryant
  • Coloring Page (2017)

    from Catholic Mom
  • Crossword Puzzle (2017)

    from Catholic Mom
  • All Things Are Ready

    by Sharlene McGowan
    Shakespeare’s Henry V, set in 1415, tells the drama of young King Henry V of England. When the king of France sent Henry tennis balls for Henry’s birthday and colluded to plot against him, Henry invaded France. The French army outnumbered the British army by thousands and Henry offered a speech to his demoralized troops that has become one of the most motivational wartime speeches in literature: In this speech, Henry says, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that shed his blood with me shall be my brother.” These lines have been referenced throughout the centuries to encourage soldiers going into battle. They have also been used in countless locker room gatherings by coaches wanting to win the big game and they have inspired numerous movie and television programs portraying the battlefield. The very next scene shows one of Henry’s soldiers telling him the French are ready to fight and Henry responds, “All things are ready if our minds be so.”...
  • Oil in the Lamp

    by Karen Pollan
  • Domingo 32A (2017)

    por Ángel F. Méndez Montoya, OP
  • Powerpoint Images #2 (John)

    Image for Worship by Dorothy Okray
  • Faithful Waiting

    by David Risendal
  • In the Time Remaining...

    by David Risendal
  • Ordinary 32A

    by Dave Shea