Being Ready To Meet The Bridegroom
22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
November 8, 2020
Readings: Amos 5: 18 -24
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
Matthew 25: 1-13
God teaches us to be alert and ready at all times so that we will not be left behind. We’ve been confused because we have allowed ourselves to listen to the world by putting more emphasis on things of the world rather than to learn about the ways of the Kingdom. The Parable of the Ten Virgins is really a message about the Kingdom of Heaven.
During Christ’s time, the tradition was that marriage was the most important thing in life. A man was supposed to find a wife, and together they were to multiply and fill the earth. The groom was to go to the Father of the bride and give him an endowment, which in essence was a betrothal. The Father then makes an agreement with the groom. When it came time to get married, the groom would have the bride-to-be picked up to go to his home because this was where the marriage feast was to be celebrated. The virgins or bridesmaids would then meet the bride to “lighten the way,’’ They were like the “welcoming committee,” because they were the ones who had the lamps to lead the way.
The Parable goes that 5 of the 10 virgins were not ready because they did not have enough oil on their lamps And anyone who is not ready to meet the groom will be rejected. This is referring to the 2nd coming of the Lord reminding each one that if we do not have oil on our lamps, we will not be able to enter into His Kingdom.
Revelation 21: 2 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
We have been spending so much time preparing our own lives on this earth, but are we preparing ourselves to be ready to meet the Bridegroom? Are we letting our lights shine in this darkened world? Matthew 5:16 says,”In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
We are actually strengthened every time we face problems and overcome them. If there are conflicts and struggles in our lives, these are opportunities for us to conquer them. God has given us everything. We just need to use these things properly and prove our potentials.
We need to keep our lamps burning and have a steady supply of oil, which are our good works. Our faith should always be coupled with action. It’s not enough to just talk about the Kingdom, we have to live it out.