Friday 26 August 2022 – THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH VIRGINS

21st Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: 1Cor 1:17-25   

Brothers and sisters: Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside. Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

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.”                              

THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH VIRGINS: The parable of the ten virgins emphasizes the idea of preparedness. The central message of the parable is not just “staying awake” but “being ready.” Both the wise and the foolish virgins fell asleep but when the coming of the bridegroom and the bride was announced the wise virgins were prepared to join them but the foolish virgins were unprepared. The parable depicts the messianic banquet as a wedding feast and invites everyone to be prepared to join the Son of Man whenever he comes. Proper preparation is accomplished through fulfilling one’s role in life. The arrival of the Son of Man can be delayed but the responsible behaviour and diligent preparation can make one ready to join his procession.

Prayer: Lord give me the wisdom to discern what is right as I await your second coming.