Vocation Meditation - <br />November 6, 2011 > Vocations.ca

Vocation Meditation -
November 6, 2011

Jesus spoke this parable to the disciples. “The Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.

“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! There will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.

Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore for you know neither the day nor the hour.’ ”

Before His impending death, Jesus had elaborated his teaching on discipleship using this parable of the 10 virgins. Although this parable has a local and immediate meaning for the Jews, Jesus meant to drive home the message and a warning to those who take loosely his invitation to a radical Christian discipleship.

In its immediate significance, this lesson is directed against the Jews who claim permanent and exclusive ownership of being the chosen people of God. Their whole history with the Law and the Prophets would have been sufficient to prepare them for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, but they proved to be unprepared when He came and therefore lost their privilege and were ‘shut out’! It presented the tragedy of the ‘unpreparedness’ of the elitist Jews.

In its wider and universal meaning, Jesus offers his radical and honest warning to all of us:

Vocation Challenge:
“The wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.”
What oil do I uselessly fill my lamp with leaving me ‘drowsy and unprepared’ when God invites me to a deeper intimacy with Him?

Dear Lord,
You have lit my life with love. My lamp is ready and my oil of watchfulness is there to keep me vigilant for your coming. All I know is that every now and then I allow myself to be misled by other lights along the way that prove distracting to my vocation. Help me to be wise, humble and spiritually awake. Amen.

For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.

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