The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. ~Mark Twain
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."
Today people seek wisdom but in a different way and with different intentions. People desire power and money and one way to get there is through wisdom and knowledge. However it’s a different kind of wisdom, a worldly and self-centered wisdom rather than the divine clarity we hear about in the readings today at Mass. Our soul should be thirsting for God and his perfect truths as the response echoes today. God is the ultimate wisdom through whom we acquire any wisdom, through whom we are blessed with our minds to think with in the first place. One valuable lesson my father taught me is that we become what we think about. If we ponder God and his infinite wisdom we shall transcend our human nature and see clearly with the eyes of Christ.
This parable in the Gospel of Matthew today continues to reinforce this great wisdom we are all called to have. The distinguishing factor between the five virgins that are able to attend the wedding feast of the Lord and the five who are left behind is wisdom. The five that are wise enough to bring the extra oil along to wait for the bridegroom are prepared and waiting when he finally arrives. This may seem like an obvious foresight and a minor example of wisdom, but Jesus is pointing to so much more in this parable today. He is showing us that we must seek the wisdom of God in order to be prepared for his coming. Through our regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist God is able to pour his almighty wisdom into our hearts. He will reveal his truths to us as his wisdom “makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her...”
So today let us be found worthy and awake when the Lord comes. We know not the day or the hour; today God calls us to urgently seek him at all times.