What would you do if your doctor told you that you have a day left to live? What would be your first course of action? What would your thoughts be? I don’t think we will be thinking about shopping, or vacations, or our wealth, or our fame and fortune, or our looks or appearance etc. I believe the first thing we would do would be to prepare ourselves spiritually to face the Lord. The parable of the ten virgins we heard in today’s gospel reading emphasizes the need to be ready and to adequately prepare ourselves for judgment or death. The bridegroom in the parable is Christ, who will come at an unexpected time or who will call us back at an unexpected time. The bride is the Church. The ten virgins represent all Christians, members of the Church. The five wise virgins represent the vigilant christians, the ones found with sanctifying grace in their souls, that is, our brothers and sisters who are working hard daily to be true and faithful disciples of Christ, those who are always preparing themselves and are ready to attain the kingdom of heaven. The five foolish ones represent our brothers and sisters who have lost their faith due to laziness and carelessness about their faith, and who give excuses for not working hard to be faithful disciples of Christ. The light in the virgins lamps represents our faith, that is, our belief in God. The oil for the lamp represents the efforts and hard work we put in, in order to preserve our faith in God. The period of waiting before the arrival of the bridegroom is our time or our life here on earth. The arrival of the bridegroom could be seen as our time or the moment of our death, when God calls us to Himself.

My dear friends in Christ, we are the ten virgins who are entrusted with the responsibility of preparing for the kingdom of heaven as we are waiting for the coming of the bridegroom. Are we among the five wise ones who paid attention to their duty and were prepared to welcome the bridegroom when he came, by being faithful to God in good works and charity? Or are we among the foolish ones who neglected our duty and got caught up in our worries and concerns like success, failure, fame, trials, wealth, poverty, sickness or health and failed to prepare ourselves for the coming of the bridegroom?

Today’s parable reminds us to continually cloth ourselves with God’s sanctifying grace by staying awake, by being ready and by staying focused on our Lord and not letting temporal things, worries and concerns distract us from preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ, the Bridegroom, for we know neither the day nor the hour that will happen. This call to readiness or preparedness is not for us to do extraordinary things, but for us to live out our faith consistently, conscientiously with true dedication and commitment.

So how do we prepare ourselves? We can prepare ourselves by: (1) An Examination of Conscience, which involves reflecting prayerfully on one's thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins. (2) By participating in the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation which is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven, and a place where we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. (3) Lastly, by continually living out the commandment of Love through good works and charity. This helps us find happiness and joy in loving others and experiencing God's love.