Gospel Reflection Nov 12 – Deacon Stephen Petrill
Sunday, November 12
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 25: 1 – 13
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,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples the parable of the ten virgins, which serves as a powerful metaphor for spiritual preparedness and readiness. The story illustrates the importance of being vigilant and attentive in our relationship with God. The ten virgins, representing believers, are divided into two groups – five who are wise and prepared with enough oil for their lamps, and five who are foolish and unprepared. The sudden arrival of the bridegroom emphasizes the unpredictability of Christ’s return, reinforcing the need for a constant state of readiness in our spiritual lives.
The parable also highlights the personal responsibility each believer holds in maintaining their spiritual condition. The oil in the lamps symbolizes the inner resources of faith, prayer, and relationship with God. The wise virgins’ preparedness underscores the significance of actively nurturing our faith through the Sacraments, Scripture, prayer, and a life of charity. The call to “stay awake” serves as a reminder that our faith is not a one-time commitment but a continuous journey of growth and preparedness.
A vibrant and enduring relationship with God is a great gift. It sustains us in difficult times and allows us to endure unpredictability. May we remain vigilant, actively nurturing the oil of faith within, and live in a state of preparedness, eagerly anticipating the Lord when he comes.
Deacon Stephen Petrill