In today's gospel, Jesus tells us the parable of the foolish maidens who were not prepared when the time had come to enter the wedding feast.
Holy Spirit, fill my heart and illuminate my mind. Help me to hear and understand God's message today. Help me to recognise when God is trying to speak to me in my daily life.
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven will be like ten maidens
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."
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al9kMCfpezI (Credit to Kids Catholic Media)
Say: Let’s imagine that we are planning a surprise party for a friend. How would we go about preparing for this party? Let’s make a list of the things we would need to do to prepare. Create a list that includes items such as preparing an invitation list, setting the date and place for the party, planning the food, choosing the decorations, planning activities, and so on.
Say: There’s a lot of preparation needed for a surprise party. What would happen if the guest of honor arrived before we were ready? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
Say: Jesus talked about the importance of being prepared to receive the Kingdom of Heaven, using the example of a wedding feast.
Say: In Jesus’ time, the bridegroom traveled from his home to the home of the bride to meet the bride and bring her back to his home. The maidens in this parable were family members and friends of the bride, whose job it was to greet the bridegroom and escort him to the bride.
What did they need to do to be prepared for this job? (They had to prepare their lamps and meet the bridegroom.) What happened in the story? (Some of the women didn’t bring enough oil for their lamps, and when the bridegroom was delayed, they were unable to meet him.) Were these foolish maidens able to attend the wedding feast? (No, they were unable to accompany the bridegroom to the feast; they were not able to attend the feast because they arrived too late.)
Say: Jesus concludes this parable by reminding his listeners that we must stay prepared to receive the Kingdom of Heaven because we do not know when the Kingdom of Heaven will come. What are some things that we should be doing to stay prepared to receive the Kingdom of Heaven? (praying every day, learning what God wants us to do, obeying the Commandments)
Father in heaven, we give you today, all that we think, and do, and say, and we join it with all that was done by Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen