Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Ps. 97:1-2,5-6,10-12, Matthew 25:1-13

“Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.” (Matthew 25:2-4)

There were ten maidens; five were foolish, and five were wise. The only thing that differentiated the foolish from the wise was that they went along with some extra oil; they didn’t depend only on the oil in their lamps.

One distinguishing quality of winners is their commitment to excellence. They follow the dictum: “Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” Have you ever had the experience of consulting a service provider (mechanic, painter, builder, etc.) only to realise they did the job halfway through? Wise persons go beyond solving a problem; they go the extra mile – they locate the source of the problem to avoid repeating the process.

In this parable, the foolish virgins took the one thing necessary: a bottle of oil for granted. They assumed the oil in their lamps would be enough. Sometimes, we behave like foolish virgins. We assume our parents’ spirituality is enough to get us into heaven. Some Christians assume the penny catechism classes they attended growing up are enough. Some have never read their bibles; they feel they are good to go since they were taught Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) in school.

I once met a young man who attended a Catholic boarding school where he attended morning Masses every morning. Upon graduation, he said the Masses he attended for six years were enough to cover for the rest of his life. This is another example of how we behave like foolish virgins.

In today’s First Reading, St. Paul says: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity… For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this disregards not man but God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:2-8). If you live on earth as though God does not exist, how do you hope to spend eternity with God whom you have so rejected?

Don’t just be an average Christian; be wise; carry some extra oil with your lamp. Be an authentic Christian.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, save me from the foolishness of mediocrity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of week 21 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Ps. 97:1-2,5-6,10-12, Matthew 25:1-13).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu