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.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
In my parish there are several older women parishioners who embody for me the beautiful description of “wisdom” found in today’s first reading from the Hebrew Book of Wisdom. There, the notion of wisdom is described in feminine terms. “Lady Wisdom” anticipates what we may be seeking; she waits for us at the start of each day; meets us as we continue through our day. Those wise women elders in my parish fit that description. I look to them for guidance. When they come into the parish church each Sunday, I feel a bit more confident because our community has the gift of their presence and their experience.
The Gospel today offers us a reminder that—in Matthew’s parish at least—there were both wise and foolish women, and men. The evangelist was warning his community that all of its members needed to be prepared for the Lord’s eventual return, an event whose date and time are unknown to us. So Matthew tells the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, and their readiness or lack of it for the bridegroom’s return. Locked doors and some hard words from the bridegroom make the parable a real challenge.
But I suspect that my wise women parishioners would remind me that being prepared for the Lord is the basic Christian challenge. His final coming, as well as his daily presence in my life is something I need to be ready to welcome.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In this week’s first reading (Wis 6:12-16), who finds wisdom?
Where and when will wisdom make herself known?
In the second reading (1 Thes 4:13-18), Paul gives the Thessalonians hope about those who have died. What is the reason he mentions?
Paul says the dead in Christ will rise first. But what about those living when Christ comes again?
The parable in the Gospel is based on wedding customs at the time of Jesus. The custom was that the bridegroom would be met by young maidens and led into the wedding party.
Jesus tells how 10 maidens who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the maidens were wise and brought extra oil for their lamps and five foolish ones who did not. What difference does that make? Which ones come late and cannot enter the wedding feast?
What does this parable teach you about “keeping awake?”
by Susan Hines-Brigger
Have you ever thought about getting married? If so, what would your wedding be like? Where would the Mass be? What would your bridesmaids/groomsmen wear? What would be the readings and the songs? Take some time and plan out what your future wedding might look like and think about why you made the choices you did.
Gather your parent’s wedding albums or videos–and maybe even your grandparents, if you’re able. Ask them questions about their wedding such as why they chose certain things and if those things had any special meaning.
Read more about the Sacrament of Marriage here.