Why the 5 virgins were foolish

Published November 7, 2020, 11:33 PM

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD



Sometime ago, a news item in the US relates about how burglars broke into a  New York firm. This wouldn’t have raised eyebrows at all since the incident took place in notorious New York. What made it amusing was that it happened to a company that manufactured burglar-proof glass windows!

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        “It never occurred to us,” said the president of the firm, “to put our own burglar-proof glass in our own door.”

The story shows how oftentimes we take things for granted and how wanting we are in preparedness. This is likewise highlighted in this 32nd Sunday’s parable of the ten bridesmaids (Mt. 25, 1-13).

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        The 10 bridesmaids are watching and waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom. The ritual requires the bridesmaids to escort the bridegroom to the wedding celebration. But the bridegroom comes late. So the bridesmaids doze off.

At midnight a call is made “to come out and meet him.” The bridesmaids rise and trim their oil lamps. But the lamps are sputtering.

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Five of the bridesmaids have the foresight to bring extra oil; five did not. The five who are prepared to keep their lamps burning are able to enter the wedding place with the bridegroom, whereas the five, who are unprepared, have to rush off to buy oil. Due to the delay, they are locked out, unable to enter.

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Jesus’ parable sounds as a warning against cramming or last-minute improvisation whether in one’s work or spiritual life. Those who don’t heed God’s call and who lack foresight will find themselves shut out. The message is a fitting sequel to our celebration of All Souls’ Day.

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        We should live wisely. We should not be concerned only with our present day-to-day needs and material pursuits but have an eye on our ultimate end. Let’s not cram or prepare for it in the last minute. To do so is like starting to pack up when your bus is already in front of your house to fetch you.

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Another important message of Jesus in his parable is that when it applies to our relationship with God we should avoid turning to him only when we are in crisis like a grave illness, crippling financial problem, or a serious family problem.

Once there was a wealthy man who fell seriously sick. His temperature soared to over over 40 Celsius. His doctor said to the wife that only a miracle could save him. Hearing this, the husband whispered to his wife and said, “Go out and find some needy people and give them gifts of money. Then go to church and pray that God may spare my life.”

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        The wife immediately went to the most depressed area of the town and did as ordered. Then she went to the nearest church and fervently prayed for her husband’s recovery. Whereupon, the patient’s condition miraculously recovered.

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        The wife related to the husband what she did. “Why did you do such a thing?” he bellowed.

“But you yourself told me to give the money to the poor,” she said.  He replied, “But with my temperature over 40 Celsius, didn’t you know I was delirious then? I didn’t know what I was saying!”

You may laugh at the story but the lesson is that we should not run to God only when we are in crisis like what the five foolish virgins did. In the midst of all our concerns, comforts, and worldly pursuits, we should maintain a loving, faithful, and lifetime relationship with God.

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        Jesus reminds us also to be like the wise, resourceful  virgins by storing enough oil for their lamps.

How much have you done for people in need – or, have you done anything at all? Live in such a way that in your last moment you may not have cause to regret – much like the foolish bridesmaids did.           

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SEND AHEAD YOUR TREASURES. “Lay up treasures in Heaven where neither rust nor moth can consume,” Jesus says.

One way of doing this is by helping our needy seminarians and sick indigents like leukemia patient Alison Genesis L. and five-year-old accident victim Joshel C.

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Chip in an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling. For inquiry, e-mail me at: [email protected].

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FAMILY TV MASS is aired on TV5 Sports Channel 59,  Free TV Ch. 41 at 6-7 a.m.  Sunday and anytime at “MCFI SVD Media” Account on YouTube and Facebook Page. Priest presider: FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD.

The FAMILY that prays together stays together.