Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 25 can be a tricky one. Jesus tells His disciples a parable, the message of which He sums up at the end. “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
The parable is about ten virgins awaiting a bridegroom in anticipation of a wedding feast. Five of the virgins were wise and brought enough oil with them. The other five were foolish and ran out of oil. The foolish ones begged the wise ones to give them some of their oil, but the wise ones refused. They advised them to go and buy some more. Eventually the foolish ones, who were not prepared, were left out. Many people are confused by the “un-Christian” behavior of the wise virgins. Wouldn’t the nice thing to do be to give some of their oil up? Why were they so stingy, so unconcerned about the others?
First, remember that the one telling the parable is Christ, so this idea of “un-Christian” behavior is ridiculous. Perhaps one of the morals of this story is that we are all responsible for our own decisions. When we make bad decisions (read: sin), the consequences can be devastating – eternal, even. Have you decided to be ready to meet the bridegroom?
Father, give us the grace to make good decisions about our eternal destiny. May we always be prepared for the return of the bridegroom. Amen.
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