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Thursday, 12 April, 2018

Matthew 25 : 1-13

"So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” -Matthew 25:13 [NLT]

The Disciples asked three questions to Jesus while they were on the Mount Olives after departing from the temple. The three questions (Matt.24:3):  (1) When will all the things Jesus spoke of happen? (2) What will be the sign of Jesus’ coming?  (3) What will be the signs of the end of the age? In Matthew 24 & 25 Jesus briefly answers these questions including our reading today – the Parable of the Ten Virgins.

All the events that Jesus told them in connection with His return, are seen happening around us now. Jesus said –Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony, If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:11-12). Here in this reading, Jesus concludes the parable by giving a warning to the disciples: “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” (Matt.25:13). What does it say to us?

Keep Watch : It says to each child of God to “Be ready” or “Be Vigilant”. Why?  Because, the ten virgins in the parable are the Children of God eagerly waiting for their Lord’s return, Five of them were foolish, and five were wise (V2). However there were several similarities for both; yet five of them did not meet with the Lord!

i)Both groups virgins(v1) ii)Both groups were having lamps. (V1) iii)Both groups took their lamps (V1) iv) Both groups were invited (V1)  v)Both groups went (V1)  vi)Both groups were wanting to meet the bridegroom (V1) vii)Both groups reached the place (V5)  viii)Both groups were waiting. (V5)  ix)Both groups became drowsy(V5)  x)Both groups slept. (V5)  xi)Both groups heard the cry “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him” (V6)  xii)Both groups woke up. (V7)  xiii)Both groups lighted the lamp. (V7)  xiv)For Both groups, bridegroom is the Lord (V11)

What happened hereafter is, one group went in with the bridegroom and one group were out—because the Foolish group of virgins asked oil to the Wise and the answer was –‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ (V9). Foolish group of virgins were lacking oil and went to purchase it(Vs.8-10). As on the preparation (V1-4), the flasks for the oil were available for the foolish virgins also. But only the wise took oil in it and they fulfilled the purpose and welcomed the bridegroom and also went in with Him (V10) and the foolish were out of the marriage feast. After returning with the oil, they called to open the door but the answer was: “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.” (V12) What a pathetic situation! With so much of preparations and expectations they were almost on the door step; the destination just at reaching point. But without getting another chance or opportunity the door was shut! The parable is a stark reminder to us: “Be ready”  to welcome Him in season or off season!

Before His crucifixion itself Jesus described to His disciple about His return and the events that would happen. After the Resurrection, the disciples of Jesus were so enthusiastic (like us) to know and asked Jesus- “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” (Act.1:6-7). Or in other words, be watchful, as we do not know the day or hour of His return!

To Meditate: “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.”(Hebrews 4:1)

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