In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about 10 virgins getting ready to go to a wedding feast. Five were wise - they brought extra oil for their lamps. Five were foolish - they brought no extra oil and ran out before the bridegroom arrived.
Part of the story can be difficult to take in. When the foolish virgins run out of oil, they ask the wise ones to share theirs with them. But the wise virgins refuse. Perhaps this speaks to the necessity of personal responsibility, and actions having consequences. But I'd like to reflect on the foolish virgins.
While it may be easy to vilify them, I think about possible reasons for their imprudent behavior. Perhaps some were just so excited to go to a wedding feast that they simply forgot to pack extra oil. I suspect they had no idea that the bridegroom would be so delayed, so they didn't plan accordingly. My point is this: maybe there was no bad intent, they just were't thinking long term, planning for contingencies as the wise virgins did. Even if their intentions were good, it still cost them dearly. Perhaps it's a lesson to us to remember to think long term. As Aquinas puts it, begin with the end in mind.
Father, may we always remember to think of eternity, and plan our lives accordingly. Amen.