Friday, August 26, 2016

Will you be ready now to appear before God as your judge? - Daily Reflections August 26, 2016

A strange story! Virgins with oil lamps, a late bridegroom, a locked door, and stern words of rejection! What is this all about? It looks to us like a “made up” story. But the story reflects wedding customs of Jesus’ time. After the wedding ceremony, the bride waits until the bridegroom arrives, and nobody knows when he would arrive after being once more out with his friends — that’s part of the ritual. And woe to the wedding party if he finds them asleep!
          Now, what is Jesus teaching us with this parable?
       Obviously, it is about being prepared. Nobody knows when we will close our eyes forever and stand before God as our judge. I ask you, if you were to die right now, would you be prepared or would you rather ask the Lord, “Wait a little, I have first to go to confession,” or “I have first to settle some things at home”?
       Jesus makes us aware to be always ready and prepared. There are certain things that cannot be postponed. Just think of a student — it is too late to prepare for the exam after waking up in the morning of the exam.
       The parable also warns us that there are certain things which cannot be borrowed. We cannot borrow a good relationship with God. We cannot borrow a friendship with Christ. We must acquire it ourselves.
       Most important is to live, as much as possible, a good life in a not-so-good world every day. By reaching out to others, by helping others, by not hurting others with our words and attitudes we accumulate “oil” in our lamps and so we will be ready and admitted into heaven when the moment of departure from this life comes.
       As always, Jesus does not intend to frighten us. No, He loves us and wants us all to be with Him in heaven one day. Therefore He tells these stories to wake us up and remind us of what is actually important in life. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: Will you be ready now to appear before God as your judge?
Lord, I often live as if life would go on forever. I forget that life is short and limited. Help me to be always aware of this truth and be ready anytime You call me to eternity. Amen.

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