“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Mt 25: 1-13)
This parable is about taking responsibility. God dignifies all of us with expecting us to act responsibly, – even those of us who, traditionally, would be considered least-capable of acting responsibly, – like “foolish virgins.” A “foolish virgin,” with no “grown-up” concerns, like those of sustaining a relationship with a spouse, or of having children, might expect others to take care of her, even when it comes to basic, everyday matters like having enough “oil” in her “lamp” or paying the electrical bills.
But our Lord doesn’t let us remain entitled cry-babies, not on His watch. He elevates all of us, in the Church, the “ekklesia” (from “ek-kaleo,” the Greek verb that means “to call forth/out”), by “calling” all of us “out,” to respond to His call to communion with Him, regardless of our intellectual or marital or some-other status. So let me do what I need to do, to “trim the lamp” of my heart today, as I’m confronted with my Lord’s “coming” into my life, once again, this Holy and Great Week. Let me “go out to meet Him” in some heartfelt prayer, because I can. “Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight; and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching…”