Hour of Judgment

The Gospel Today
Friday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

REFLECTION (Sem. Dondon O. Dimaano)

In the Graduate School of Theology where I go, some professors would give surprise quizzes or recitations. Knowing that the schedule of the Midterm exams then was still far, and that there was no hint that the professor would give us examination, I did not study nor browse even my notes. The whole class was surprised when he announced: “My dear seminarians, get a sheet of paper. Today, you will have a quiz to somehow gauge what you have learned in the class so far. “

Unprepared, I even had to ask for a sheet from my seatmate. The type of examination was multiple choice and when I learned about it, I had a sigh of relief a bit knowing that I there was, at least, a chance to pass the test by merely guessing or being practical with the answers. But taking exams is never merely about luck and that is true because when we checked our papers, I got a failing grade. I was surprised and the professor told us, that he too was surprised because of the low grades that we got.

The Gospel reading reminds me to always be ready and prepared especially in spiritual matters. Thus, I must always be doing good, focusing my attention to heavenly things and not to those that consume my time but lead me to nowhere. I realize that even our stay on earth has its end and most probably, the day nor the hour of judgement will be unknown. With hope and through God’s grace, may I always be ready to meet my Creator and not be stunned by His presence when He calls me back. That would be the biggest surprise of all. Be prepared and awake because we “neither know the day nor the hour.”

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