Friday of the Twenty-First Week In Ordinary Time
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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. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them.”
I never really liked this parable because I never really understood its significance beyond that of our Lord’s Second Coming. What’s the meaning behind the rich symbols of ten virgins with their lamps and oil?
Eureka! It finally dawned on me! This parable sounds like the making of the Church’s baptismal liturgy.
Children come to the Church dressed like brides, in white garments; a reminder of their Christian dignity. That they were created to love and be loved.
They are anointed with oil and given a candle that is to be kept burning brightly: “May you keep the flame of faith alive in your heart. When the Lord comes, may you go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.”
They are to save themselves for the Love of their life.
But like all of Christ’s parables, there is so much more here than what is first imagined.
Virgins. Until we are united with Him, the supreme lover of all souls, we are all virgins. God is the bridegroom, and the day of our wedding is fast approaching. Will we be prepared? Or will we be found fast asleep?
Everything on earth is created in the image and likeness of heaven or hell. Our birth is an image of our heavenly birth. Our wedding is an image of when God units himself to us. Our death on earth is the reality of things to come: the bringing together of loved ones or the brutal and eternal separation from loved ones. This is an image of either eternal bliss or eternal loneliness.
The “virgins” are a powerful reminder of our ultimate vocation on earth. We are all called to be virgins; to save ourselves for the Lord. The fact that there are “ten virgins” means that all are welcomed to be His bride.
Oil as strength. Oil has always been the symbol of strength. In the olden days, priests, prophets and kings were anointed with oil. By our baptism we have been called by God. “We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people set apart.” We are set for life. We have all that it takes to get to heaven. Nothing but our selfishness can stop us now.
Oil as Faith. The extra flask the five virgins have is that supernatural faith they take with them. These individuals do not simply have faith in humanity, in science and in calculations. They have faith in God. This faith allows them to function beyond their sight; beyond their understanding; and even beyond the odds. Faith in God is to their advantage, especially in times of trouble and as others fall away. It becomes a supreme necessity when the night is at its most darkest hour.
It is this faith that keeps the candle burning brightly until our heavenly spouse arrives to take us away.
Please share this meditation with your friends.
P.S. Do you have any prayer intentions? Please share them with our readers before this Sunday’s Masses. (0)
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