The Fifth Sunday of the Cross
Matthew 25: 1-13
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.
4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
8 The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
9 “‘No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for you.'
10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 "Later the others also came.’ Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
12 "But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Today’s gospel stresses on watching and waiting spiritually. This gospel stresses as well on being always prepared for the advent of the Lord in our lives. No matter how long His advent delays, we should be constant, watchful, and working. Our lives should also be full of good works to deserve to enter with Him, similarly to the wise virgins, to the Heavenly Kingdom. This will require that we live with the Lord moment by moment, because the hour of death is the final and crucial encounter with the Lord.
Today’s gospel is about the coming of the Bridegroom at an hour unknown to any of the faithful souls that are awaiting and watchful in order to rescue themselves with the lit lamps and the oil of good works. The gospel points out also to the unavoidable death that requires us to be watchful and wait at every moment of our lives. Through the good of life and God’s gifts to us, we can have life, which is God Himself.
Some of the sayings of Saint John Chrysostom on the parable of the virgins:
“What do the trumpets and the cry mean? Behold the bridegroom!” Then they trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise: “Give us some of your oil”. He calls them again foolish in order to show that nothing can be more foolish than those who are wealthy in this world and depart naked thither where we have need of humanity and much oil. But not in this respect only were they foolish, but also because they looked to receive it there, and sought it out of season.
“Now, what do we learn from this? No man can protect us there if we are betrayed by our works.” “For this reason, we should collect the oil here to be useful for us there when the time (i.e., the death) calls us. For that is not the time of collecting it, but this. Therefore, do not waste your money in vain on luxury, pleasures, sins, and vainglory because you will have need of much oil there”. Consequently, the Lord says to us: “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”