Today’s parable of the ten virgins urges us to be alert and awake, ready for the time when Jesus will come again. Jesus wants to make it clear that a time will come when each person is either welcomed into heaven or finds the door barred before them.
But what’s all this fuss about the virgins’ supply of oil? It seems that it’s the oil that determines whether we are ready to meet Jesus. We could call it our faith or the Holy Spirit. Whatever it is, it’s something that we can’t borrow from a friend. We have to be prepared with our own supply.
This parable tells us that anyone can be welcomed by Jesus, the Bridegroom, as long as they are alert, and well supplied with the oil of salvation.
Staying alert and awake. Keeping our lamps aflame. Maintaining a good supply of oil. These are all ways of saying the same thing: Jesus wants us to keep our faith alive every single day. How can we do this? We can take our cue from St. Paul, who promised, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
We have a prime opportunity to check our faith when we proclaim the Creed every Sunday at Mass. We can do this every day in our personal prayer. We can be sure that whenever we confess and believe, we bring a smile to God’s face. Even if our faith is imperfect, the Lord still smiles, and we can hear the angels announce, “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” (Matthew 25:6).
So let’s proclaim our faith today. Let’s fill up our oil flasks by announcing our belief in Jesus, our Savior.