“Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’” vss. 11-12
This is a parable that the upright and prepared can give a hearty “Amen” to. They particularly like the part where the wise bridesmaids say to the foolish, “Go buy your own oil!” That sentiment appeals to those who have lived life the right way and who would relish the chance to tell the wastrels among them, “Too late now! Too bad!” and “No, we’re not going to share…you’ll just have to face the consequences of your slothful living.” And when the foolish get locked out of the celebration they’d love to be able to shrug their shoulders and say, “It’s their own fault,” and then go on with the party. Appealing as such thinking might be, we have to recognize that it has little to do with the gospel. Matthew told this Jesus-story to encourage his community to not lose heart at the delayed return of the Christ. He wanted them to remain faithful to the hope of renewal–and that’s his word to us too. It’s easy with our built-in prejudices to embrace a message of limitations and closed doors. It’s much more difficult, particularly in a time of mass shootings and widespread divisions, to believe that someday God will act and all people will know God’s salvation…but that’s exactly what the gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to do.
Thought for the Day: Who are the wastrels among us?