The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Sunday Gospel Reflection
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 25:1-13 | November 12, 2023

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Josie Gonzales

“There were ten virgins who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five were foolish and the other five were wise…It was already midnight when the cry rang out, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!’

The ten woke up and checked their lamps. Then, the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’

The wise ones answered, ‘Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.’ The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.

When the others arrived, they asked to be let in but the bridegroom answered, ‘I don’t know you.’ And Jesus said, ‘Watch out, because you do not know the day or the hour.’ – Matthew 25:1-2, 6-13

Stay in love with God.

Today’s Gospel is a lesson in preparedness. It talks about ten virgins who were invited to a wedding feast: five were wise and the other five were foolish. Why wise? Why foolish? What makes one wise? Foolish? How different is one from the other?

In this story, the wise stayed in love with God. They were prepared for the occasion, ready to meet the ‘bridegroom’, ready to follow the Lord. The foolish were not prepared for the banquet. It was a long night but they just lived the moment. They did not anticipate what was needed as invited guests. Are we ‘the wise’? Or ‘the foolish’?

Ano na ang inihanda natin para sa Diyos? O tayo ba ay makasarili? Pinapahalagahan
ba natin ang sampung utos ng Panginoon? At ang unang utos na nagsasabing mahalin Siya higit sa lahat at mahalin ang kapwa tulad ng pagmamahal sa sarili?

The wise virgins loved the Lord. They walked in faith and they were ready for life eternal in His kingdom. The foolish ones were not bad but they wasted time. They focused on the mundane. They were the ‘unschooled’ who failed to grow in faith–a painful lesson for us who remain unmindful of the ‘final judgment’. We don’t know when but it will come–only the Father knows!

Let’s pause, meditate, and pray.

The wise among us know that Jesus is forever: yesterday, today, and always. He lives with us, teaches us, guides us, heals us, and provides for all–the wise and the foolish alike.

But, the wise see and listen; the foolish ignore. The wise are alert and awake–alert and awake to the needy by helping provide the basics for a decent life, bringing joy to the sick, caring for the orphans and street children deprived of schooling, feeding the hungry, assisting the elderly and the disabled, and being conscious about climate change and our surroundings.

The foolish fall asleep. They are slow and dull in appreciating God’s blessings of good health for self and family, of peace in the community and with our neighbors, of universal love so we may live in harmony regardless of creed and color and whether rich or poor or young or old.

Ano ang ating itinanim o tinatanim para sa Diyos? Nagpunla ba tayo ng pag-ibig, tulong, pagkakaisa, kapayapaan, kagalakan at naging mabuting halimbawa sa ating mga anak? Tayo ba ay matalino o hangal?

The Bible says, “seventy years is all we have – eighty years, if we are strong…life is soon over, and we are gone.” (Psalm 90) Simply put, life on earth is not eternal but the Almighty gave us all the resources to do good, to do right, to be well meaning followers and stewards of Christ so we may be prepared for everlasting life with Him.

The way to heaven is to be ‘wise’ and hell, if we remain ‘foolish’.

Kailan tayo magiging handa para sa Diyos? Hindi natin alam kung sino ang dadalhin ng Panginoon sa Kanyang Paraiso. Masarap isipin na kasama tayo sa mapipili pero tinatahak ba natin ang tuwid na landas? Nagpupunla ba tayo ng binhi ng kapatawaran, pagmamahal, pagkahabag at awa–kabutihang ipinamalas sa atin ng Panginoon? Tularan natin Siya. Magtanim tayo ng kabutihan at tuparin ang Kanyang misyon.

Let’s store our treasures in heaven NOW! Do not wait for tomorrow for tomorrow may be too late.

Upon waking in the morning, let’s talk to God in prayer. He knows what we feel, what we need, where we are. He knows everything about us but He wants us to commune with Him. I have learned to put myself in the Lord’s presence upon waking up by saying, “good morning, Lord! The sky is bright and the sun is out. Thank you for another beautiful day. Stay with me, Lord. Bless my family. Keep me safe. Talk to me, Lord. What do you want me to do for You today?” And, turning to my grotto, I greet Mama Mary and thank her for another day. A little time with the Lord to start the day spells peace and joy the rest of the day.

Am I spared of challenges and stresses in life? No! The Lord never promised us a bed of roses. He promised to be with us 24/7 and for us to trust and believe and obey Him. Earning “brownie points” in heaven is to obey God. My corporal works of mercy are my brownie points in heaven–they give indescribable joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment beyond words that give me a good night’s sleep; then, I know I pleased my God.

Reaching out to people to share His Good News is honoring and loving Him. That love has given me the resolve to write my thoughts and feelings as I reflect on Gospel readings for the parishioners in my community. I’m so grateful to have been given the task and I am truly inspired to keep sharing and reaching out! I am very blessed with the grace to walk with people with great faith. For the Lord, let’s keep going. God is truly great!

A blessed Sunday to all!

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