Mt 25: 1-13
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.
But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Perseverance is the key
Perseverance has been called the key to Christian virtue. It is easy to remain earnest in doing good for a short time, or when we are close to death, but how about for a full lifetime? Jesus encourages us here to grow in the wisdom that makes us vigilant, living in this world but not totally of this world, for we are born for eternal life. May we strive to live each day as if it were our last, conscious that after this brief earthly pilgrimage only our good deeds follow us, and there will be no more opportunities to merit, by God’s grace, for all eternity.
—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He lives at Jesuit Hall in St. Louis and has served in full-time prison ministry.
Lord, keep me faithful to that prayer which St. Ignatius of Loyola found most essential, the twice daily examen. May perseverance in this practice keep me mindful of the grace others are to me, and of how I am called to reach out to others by your grace. Through Jesus Christ who makes all things new. Amen.
—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ