Stay awake for you do not know the day nor the hour. ~ Matthew 25:13
Fr Chito Dimaranan SDB speaks about The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids.
Mindfulness and Watchfulness
Kalat na Peke at Palso
My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God ~ Psalms 62
Lectio Divina ~ 32nd Sunday in OT (Matt 25:1-13) – November 12, 2017
PONDERING GOD’S WORD (Meditation)
Matthew 25 is a chapter that is made up of three parts—words of Jesus that speak about reckoning at the end times. This particular gospel passage ends with “Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
As he does many times, Jesus declares the parable as a comparison to the kingdom of heaven. The situation is that of a wedding feast in first century Palestine. The bridesmaids have an important role: to welcome the bridegroom with their lamps. The preliminary stage of betrothal happened days before; then the time for the celebration of the marriage has just begun. In the night, the bridegroom takes the bride from her house and in procession now brings her to his house. The bridesmaids’ task is to wait for this entourage and from there they attended to the bride at the wedding feast.
Jesus takes this detail of waiting—the lamps, the oil, the drowsiness of the bridesmaids, and the fact that five of them were wise and the other five foolish. This was the twist in the narrative. At the coming of the bridegroom, the foolish ones found their lamps almost out. They went out to buy oil and were left outside when the door was shut. They were denied when they sought entry. It was a sad ending because they were not prepared for the coming of the bridegroom.
The last statement of Jesus in this passage is a reminder to keep awake. At the beginning of the parable, we see a clue as to why five of the bridesmaids suffered their sad fate at the end: five were wise; five were foolish. The foolish ones were doomed to be outside. The wise ones played their cards well—they were prepared for any eventuality that they might run out of oil. The foolish ones did not. In meeting the Bridegroom at the end of our life, we have to be prepared beforehand. God, who created us without our permission, cannot save us without our permission. We have to prepare for that salvation.
- “Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Do I give a thought to that day and that hour that may come anytime?
- How do I keep awake? How do I prepare myself for a happy death?
Ask the Lord for the grace of a happy death. Pray for necessary graces towards preparing yourself for the day and the hour.