Friday, 21st Week in Ordinary Time

            “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

            Imagine if you knew the day and hour you would pass from this life. Of course, some people do know that death is approaching either due to illness or age. But think about this in your own life. What if you were told by the Lord that tomorrow is that day. Are you ready?

            Most likely there would be many practical details that would come to mind that you would want to take care of. Many would think about all their loved ones. They would think about their safety and security, their readiness to accept the inevitable, and the impact this would have on them. Set that all aside for now and ponder the question from one perspective only: Are you ready to encounter the Lord Jesus?

            We all know well the Parable of the Ten Virgins: five are wise and five are foolish. The foolish ones do not bring along any additional oil. As the bridegroom is delayed, they all fall asleep. At midnight the bridegroom comes. The wise go in with him to the banquet. The foolish are late and miss the opportunity. And failing to perform their role in the wedding they remain outside.

            The most important lesson of this parable is: We must be ready for our encounter with the Lord. And to be always prepared for this encounter we have to make sure that our lamps are stocked with oil. We must not wait for the last moment of our life to fill our lamps with oil. Rather, we must do so already and from now on. We must already be cooperating and collaborating with God. We must already be filling the lamps of our life with the oil of grace.

            Once you pass from this life there is only one thing that will matter. What will the Lord Jesus say to you? Certainly, you do not want to hear what the Lord tells the foolish ones in the gospel parable – those who beg, “Lord, Lord, open the door for us!” We do not want the Lord to tell us, “Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.”

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