Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
This was the gospel read at Mass yesterday…..and after the priest finished proclaiming it, I started daydreaming off into the crowd at church. Tons of families with their beautiful children. The Lord began speaking to me on SO many different levels….this Gospel reading became real to me in a way that it never had before.
This reading is PROFOUND in so many different ways…..and it is a very tough thing to take, if we were to really understand what Christ is trying to tell us.
The priest started speaking about the history of our lives…..that we must be prayerful and vigilant at ALL TIMES! We cannot become comfortable and to a certain extent “cocky” in the sense that we feel secure in our relationship with Christ. We go to many events, we are members of different ministries and groups, we even help serve at retreats – and somehow, we are fooled in to thinking that we are like those Virgins who had plenty of oil saved for their lamps. The reality is, if we aren’t vigilant, we’re no better than those virgins who brought no oil with them.
What the HECK does that mean? What is this “Oil” in our lives?
Let me be honest, I struggle EVERYDAY with having to come home from a long day at work after dealing with miserable people – to sit down and pray! My temptation is to turn on the TV or Computer, sit and do NOTHING! Let’s be real, this is the typical american day, right?! (Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with coming home and wanting to just relax for a bit, but we’re talking about when it becomes laziness, which prevents us from having a deeper relationship with Christ other than Sunday Mass and Ministry events)
More and more, I desire to be vigilant! I even imagined my wedding day only a month ago, being the bride awaiting her bridegroom – without any OIL saved! Can you imagine? Having my bridegroom shut the door and telling me that he didn’t recognize me?!
Wow….this really hit me! Not only do I feel called to be vigilant EACH DAY in order to not miss out on God’s ultimate Will for me and my husband, but it made me think and pray for my friends in a deeper way.
I think of so many of my girlfriends who I love dearly and who desire to be married one day (whether to a man on earth or in their vocation as religious) and I pray that they are living their lives in a way that is vigilant. Unfortunately, (and in NO judgmental way) many of my friends are choosing ways that will not bring them to their bridegroom.
Let’s look at this story again – ALL 10 of the Virgins (or Brides, in other translations) in this story wanted and longed to be with their bridegroom. They all set out on the night-journey to await him. But what happened? What were they missing?
5 of the Virgins had prepared oil ahead of time, it may have been heavy in their bags, it probably smelled bad and was a pain-in-the-butt to carry on their path, but they knew they had to take the extra oil with them or they would be RISKING (KEY WORD HERE!) not being prepared when the bridegroom arrived. Basically, they did what they knew they had to do – even if it meant an EXTREME sacrifice – to meet the one that their heart longed for.
The other 5 Virgins, with good intentions (because they also longed for their bridegroom JUST AS MUCH as the other 5) felt a little too comfortable or even cocky and said before leaving “This oil will definitely be enough”. They were unwilling to go that EXTRA mile for the bridegroom – who was also looking and coming for them – if they would have only been prepared. 😦
Reading this, I thought, “WHY didn’t they just bring oil like the other 5?!”
It breaks my heart even more to see so many around me who don’t have that extra oil with them….so many of us who aren’t willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to be ready for not only our future husbands and wives, but more importantly, Christ Himself.
This story has NOTHING to do with these 5 Virgins and it has EVERYTHING to do with our calling. We have no idea where this life will take us…..no idea when it is our time to return to the Father…..
In my life, I had no idea when it was my time to meet my husband…but I knew that I needed to make changes, sacrifices and lifestyle decisions to be ready for him. If not, my earthly bridegroom Andrew may have seen my Facebook, seen the clothes I wore, the friends I had and a lifestyle that he was NOT living….and he might have said to me just like was said to the 5 Virgins “I do not know you…..”
We must be vigilant at ALL TIME!
From now on, let’s try to DO God’s will for us, not our will, even if it takes sacrifice! For our will will leave us with no oil and no bridegroom.