With the pandemic taking a lot of lives (more than 1.2 million total worldwide as of the latest count), the fear of getting sick and dying from the virus is real and affecting the lives of many globally. The topic of dying not only coming from the disease but for any other reason comes and with it the realization that when it’s our time, how will we react and what are we going to do?
For many people the anxieties may not be on one’s own situation but on how will our loved ones manage without us, how are we going to prepare them for the future, among other things. While these are also important, the most pressing consideration we should worry about is: Are we ready to face God now?
In the Gospel (Mt. 25: 1-13) Jesus told his disciples the parable of the 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, when the bridegroom came, all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones asked the wise for oil, 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.’
Oil in the Sacred Scriptures has great significance and symbolism. It pictures the work and anointing of the Holy Spirit for without the Holy Spirit, no one can be saved. Thus, how can we become like the wise virgins so we can enter into the wedding feast? The Spirit of God leads people to Christ and makes them realize that they need Jesus as their Savior, for there is absolutely no other way to enter the kingdom of Heaven (Acts 4:12). If we want to be ready to meet the Lord at any time, we’ve got to have charity in our lives. It is a radical commitment to be the face of Christ to others — meaning we have to love others the way Jesus loves us — unselfish, sacrificing and self-giving. It is taking the heart of the Lord in our daily lives, making it a habit to think like Jesus at each and every moment. It may just be an ordinary situation we encounter, but whatever it is, we need the Lord’s mind to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In our moments of decision and confusion, what would Jesus do? To get to think like Christ, the First Reading (Wis. 6: 12-16) tells us that if we look for the answer, we can easily find it,
“Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire; Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate.”
Today, let us reflect on our charity and capacity to love and forgive. How far are we willing to love others? How committed are we to God? How far are we willing to give up of ourselves in loving God?
Let us pray that the Lord grant us the grace, the humility and the strength to become like the wise virgins, intelligent enough to prepare and be ready to meet God any time.
“Stay awake and be ready!For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Mt. 24: 42a, 44)