Nov 12, 2023: Wisd. 6:12-16; 1Thess.4:13-14; Matt. 25:1-13.
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“What good is a lifejacket left on the shore when the boat is sinking”?
Are you missing out on what's most important in life? Being unprepared can lead to unnecessary trouble and even disaster! “What good is a lifejacket left on the shore when the boat is sinking”? Jesus' story of ten single ladies waiting for a wedding procession in the middle of the night seems strange to most westerners today. But Jesus' audience knew all too well how easily this could happen to them.
Significance: Wedding customs in ancient Palestine required extra vigilance and preparation for everyone involved. The bride and groom customarily celebrated for a whole week with their family and friends, after which, the groom, in company with his friends, would come at his discretion and get his bride and bring her to their new home. Mind you, to show up for a wedding party without proper attire and travel arrangements is like trying to get into a special event today that requires a prearranged permit or reservation! And you just don't get in without the proper pass! Furthermore, once they arrived and closed the doors, no one else could be admitted.
Life Message: The consequences of being unprepared to meet the Lord: Jesus warns us that there are consequences for being unprepared. There are certain things you cannot obtain at the last moment. For example, students cannot prepare for their exams when the day of testing is already upon them.
A person cannot get the right kind of character, strength, and skill required for a task at hand, unless they already possess it, such as a captain with courage and nautical skills who must steer a ship through a dangerous storm at sea. By the way, have you ever run out of gas? It would appear that every year at least a half million people call for help because they have run out of gas. Besides flat tires, dead batteries, and misplaced keys, running out of gas ranks right up there in the reasons why people call for roadside service. -- One might understand this happened a generation ago, when gas gauges were not entirely accurate, and when all the warning lights of our day were non-existent. But now we have warning messages that our fuel is running low, indicating also how many estimated miles of driving we have left. And so, one must say that most people who run out of fuel are “without excuse.”
Conclusion: When the Lord Jesus comes to lead you to his heavenly banquet will you be ready to hear his voice and follow? Our eternal welfare depends on our hearing, and many have trained themselves to not hear. We will surely not be prepared to meet the Lord, face to face, when he calls us on the day of judgment, unless we listen to him today. Thus, through the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus warns us to be ever prepared for the end of our lives. Thus, the Lord invites us to feast at his heavenly banquet table. Are you ready? Hence, “What good is a lifejacket left on the shore, when the boat is already sinking”? “Therefore, stay awake and be ready, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”