Twenty First Week in Ordinary Time / St. Monica
Gospel: 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.”
DECEPTION OF THE LAST MINUTE: There are things in life that cannot be obtained the last minute. Such things and events are important and must be prepared for, in advance. A good example would be character which is hardly alterable in last minute rush. This is why Paul advices the young people to get themselves to marry in an honorable way like Christians. Not led by lust like people who do not know God. People should not take advantage of each other in this matter as it makes us impure and is a sin before God. Christ is calling us to keep the oil which is the Holy Spirit and the lamp which is the word, as this is the way to wait for him. When we are led by the Holy Spirit and the Bible, we shall be ready for Him.
PRAYER: Lord help us to keep preparing for your coming.
BE WATCHFUL ALWAYS: When there is no specific time and deadlines for something, people tend to relax and do not take care. The Jewish wedding party could arrive at any time and therefore waiting is important. The maidens had to wait for the bride for the bridegroom. We live in a world where everything has to be defined. Any event must be given specific time of starting and ending. Even in the African culture which defined time flexibly nowadays is adapting the new method of specific time and deadlines. It is unfortunate that the time for one’s death is still hidden. Since there is no specific time for one’s death, it can lead to laxity and indifference instead of continuous preparation and readiness. That is the reason why in today’s world there are many who do not care about the life after death and focus only on the present pleasure and forget about secure future life.
****(St. Monica) BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE FAITH RECEIVED: Paul reminds us to be grateful for having been brought up in Christian faith, “I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus.” Today many fail to recognize this immense blessing of faith passed on to us by our forefathers. These can only be counted among the foolish servants who prefer to eat and get drunk rather than live with alertness awaiting the end days. St. Monica wept for the wayward life of her son Augustine who was by worldly standards famous and rich. She was concerned about the loss of his soul. How many mothers today get concerned about imparting lessons of faith to their children? Parents have the sacred duty to transmit the most important things of life, the matters of eternal life. “Train a child the way he should go and make sure you also go the same way”. Parents should be faithful servants rooted in faith and living as Christian models for the children.