Will you be ready before the door is closed?
A lot is packed into Matthew’s short parable, in which a wedding feast is compared to the kingdom of heaven. The wise ones cannot share their oil with the foolish ones if they wanted to. What is required to enter the feast must be what you have experienced or what you have done yourself. You cannot share your relationship with Jesus with someone else, as the unprepared virgins wanted the others to do. You have to experience the love of Christ personally to have a relationship with Him. The oil is our love and relationship with Christ. The unprepared virgins are foolish to think that they could purchase this at the last minute. If only they would have stayed and asked the lord for mercy and forgiveness, they could have entered the wedding feast or Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, with a word of command, can wake us up and take us to be with himself if only we have faith. If we bless him while we live and call upon his name, it will not be in vain.
Jesus’ future coming transforms the present by motivating us to love Him and live for Him to the full. The ones who wisely plan ahead, are rewarded; the unprepared are rejected. A few weeks ago, the rejected guests were those without a wedding garment, now it’s the ones without working lamps. At baptism we were clothed in Christ and were given a lighted candle. Only those who put on Christ and light the way are welcomed to the kingdom. We must live out our baptism and let our God-given wisdom give us the urgency we need each and every day. The door is open, keep your candle lit with the oil from a strong relationship with Jesus. Amen
Deacon Peter Smith serves at St. Mary’s/Holy Family Parish in Alabama, a religion teacher at Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Birmingham, and a member of our extended Passionist Family.