"It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."— Paul "Bear" Bryan: (1913 –1983: was an American college football player and coach. He was best known as the longtime head coach of the University of Alabama football team)
Gospel Text: (MT 25:1-13)
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 passage is a parable Jesus told to illustrate a certain truth about his Second Coming. The parable itself is a little masterpiece, with each detail adding a piece of crucial information. As I have studied this parable, I have been struck by one phrase in verse 10: “And the door was shut.” There is an awful finality about those words. It means that the door was shut and locked and would not be opened again. Those on the inside were safely inside; those on the outside could never get in no matter how hard they tried.
There is a “door” that leads to heaven. It is the door of God’s grace, held open by the bloody cross of Jesus Christ. For 2,000 years that door has been open to the entire world, and it is open even today. Over the door are these wonderful words:
“Whosoever will may come.” Anyone, anywhere, anytime can go in that door and find new life, salvation, forgiveness, freedom, and eternal life.