Memorial of Saint Monica
(I Corinthians 1:17-25; Matthew 25:1-13)
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he tells his disciples, “...your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” In today’s reading, which comes from his last public discourse, Jesus gives us an update. The five virgins with enough oil to keep their lamps burning brightly represent both men and women who have stocked their lives with good deeds and are now prepared to greet Christ, the universal bridegroom. Meanwhile, the five whose oil is running out are those whose lives are scant of good deeds. They will miss their heart’s desire when he comes.
Many of us would help others if asked, yet we spend little time doing it. We need to seek out opportunities. Prisoners needing visitors, hospitals needing volunteers, and night shelters needing monitors only begin to name possibilities for those who desire to fulfill Jesus’ word. Such services take time, but the deeper question is commitment. How much of ourselves are we willing to give to the Lord now so that we might be his forever?