The Ten Virgins (Mt 25:1-13)
O Jesus, I will go out to meet you.
(Picture Jesus with His disciples).
The parable describes an actual wedding. In Jesus’ time, marriages were delayed for many hours until all the arrangements with the bride’s family were worked out. This often resulted in midnight torchlight entrances, as the groom brought the bride to his home.
The important element is the suddenness of the bridegroom’s coming. This brings about a severance. The foolish are cut off from the wise. Woe to those who are unprepared. Other parables, like the sudden flood, the entry of the thief, and the unexpected return of the master, also have this theme of suddenness.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Scene 1 The Kingdom of heaven is like ten virgins who awaited the coming of the bridegroom. Because his coming was delayed, they all slept. Finally, at midnight, they heard a cry, “The bridegroom is coming, go out to meet him.” As they arose, the five foolish virgins (who had no oil) said to the others, “Give us some of yours.” The wise virgins responded, “Since there might not be enough for you and us, you must go and buy some.” So, the foolish virgins went off to buy the oil. The wise virgins met the bridegroom and went to the marriage. Then the door was shut.
Scene 2 When the foolish virgins arrived, they wanted to enter. They cried out, Lord, Lord, open to us.” The Lord answered, “I do not know you.” Jesus said, “Watch, therefore, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- All ten virgins sleep. All have brought their lamps. Only the wise have brought the oil.
- All hear the same invitation. “Go out to meet the Bridegroom.” However, some are prepared and others are not.
- The oil is the grace of the Kingdom. The person needs this grace to enter with the bridegroom into the marriage ceremony.
- The wise know the true value of the Kingdom.
- They are wise enough not to lend some to the foolish.
- The foolish are shut out of heaven. Before they died, the oil of God’s Kingdom was not important to them.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Lord, someday I will fall asleep in death and be awakened in eternity.
- Jesus, I should live every day for that moment.
- You have given me the oil of the Kingdom. Help me to value it for that eternal journey.
- O Lord, if I have lost my oil, let me buy it again by repentance and a good confession.
- O Jesus, what is it like to see you and be with you forever?
- At the hour of my death, I will “Go out to meet you.”
- O God, heaven is forever. When you shut the door behind me, you will never throw me out.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will always treasure my Baptismal grace.
+ If I have lost my innocence, I will regain it immediately by confession, the Church’s “second Baptism.”
Thought For The Day: (To recall your meditation)
At midnight, they heard the cry, “Go out and meet the Bridegroom.”