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.”
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In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus gives us another parable to teach us about the Kingdom of Heaven. He stresses the importance of being prepared to enter the Kingdom by describing five virgins who kept their lamps lit and were ready to enter a wedding feast, and five virgins who let their oil run out and couldn’t enter the wedding feast. Jesus can call us home or come again any time. Because we don’t know the day or the hour, we always stay awake and find ways to make ourselves ready for him. The Parable of the Ten Virgins reminds us to be responsible for our own relationship with the Lord. We have to be proactive in our faith, and we have to keep ourselves accountable for growing in holiness. This is why the five wise virgins couldn’t give some of their oil to the other virgins. Their individual preparation can’t be lent to others. We wait in hope for the Kingdom of God, but we don’t wait in idleness. Jesus encourages us to always keep his Kingdom in mind, preparing for it in everything that we do.
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