Where do I go from here? I look out at the rain washed window, the streaks of rain pelting down and moving sideways as the car picks up speed. I was trying to find a sense of clarity and comfort in the cold and thinking about life in general. It is one month more to the end of the year and my heart is just filled with doubts. Perhaps, I need to pray for the wisdom to comprehend these doubts and make sense of them all.
The gospel begins by saying,“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” (Matthew 25:1-13).”
The frightening aspect would be when you have reached the end of the journey and Jesus says,“Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.” It is not a statement of abandonment or being forsaken, rather it is a sign that we do not have a relationship with him while we are on earth.
We need to pray for the wisdom to always be ready to meet Jesus when the time comes. It is important to keep vigil and not wait till the last minute to start scrambling and to realise that we do not have enough spiritual mileage accumulated to meet him.
Spiritual mileage means cultivating a prayer relationship with Jesus, carrying out his good work and nurturing a forgiving and compassionate heart. If we do not even want to cultivate a prayer-life relationship, the truth is that no one is going to do it for us.
In life, I have always been taught to be prepared and sometimes I prepare too far ahead. It is true that given the unpredictable situations in life, being prepared can be good so that we know how to handle the curveballs that life throws us. Through these situations, I have learnt to cope better and been trying to improve my prayer life which is a work in progress.
As I grapple with the notion of mortality and life, I realise that I am fighting an uphill battle because each moment passes by so fast and I am left in the dust. However, through the struggles, I look forward to being better prepared and to keep the encounter with Jesus close to my heart.
Meanwhile, we need to remind each other to have a strong hope and keep the faith even when we feel that we do not believe anymore. It is the great joy and happiness to be able to rest assured that nothing is holding us back to enjoy the wedding banquet that Jesus has prepared for us. Do not let our unpreparedness cloud the goal that our life is permanent in Jesus and everything we have now is in this moment and strictly, temporary.
“Stay awake and be ready!
For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
God Bless and we pray for each other that we need to keep the faith and help one another towards this heavenly banquet.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong