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Homily for thirty second Sunday, year A

10 Nov 2017, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sermons

As we approach the last month of the year, we are reminded that each passing day brings us closer to our last day on earth.

We all know that Christmas is approaching, and we all know that it is on December 25th. But unlike Christmas and other feast days, we do not know when our last day on earth will be. Hence, the need to be ready at all times. That is what the Lord tells us this morning in the parable of the ten bridesmaids.

The parable of the ten bridesmaids is a very familiar one, and in it, Jesus explains how the kingdom of God is like or how our last day on earth will look like. Ten bridesmaids waited for the bridegroom; five of them were wise while the other five were foolish. The wise ones took their lamps with extra oil, while the foolish ones did not go with extra oil. The bridegroom was delayed, and they all slept off, but there was a cry, The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him. The five intelligent bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, while the five foolish ones without extra oil begged the wise or the intelligent bridesmaids for some. Not getting help, they decided to go out to get some oil for themselves, but before they returned, the door to the wedding feast was locked. And that is how it’s going to be on the last day; only those that are ready will go in with the bridegroom (The Lord).

I have read this passage of the scriptures so often, but reflecting on it again a few days ago, I wondered if the five so called ‘foolish’ bridesmaids were actually foolish the way they are presented. In my reflections, I concluded that they were not foolish as such, but a tiny mistake made them looked so foolish, just like little negligence can make us miss heaven.

The ten bridesmaids were found worthy of being selected from so many other young ladies to be with the bridegroom. If the so-called five foolish bridesmaids were actually that foolish, they wouldn’t have been selected in the first place. At least they were wise enough to carry their lamps, but that little mistake they made, to forget to take extra oil with them, made them looked so foolish and missed the bridegroom.

Like the ten bridesmaids, we all have been found worthy of being selected to wait for the bridegroom. By our baptism and our faith in Christ Jesus, we are privileged to be among those gathered in this church this morning to continue to celebrate and wait in hope for the second coming of Jesus Christ. Remember that it was in the process of waiting that the ten bridesmaids slept off; we, too, can be tempted to sleep off. St. Paul tells us in our second reading this morning that a time will come when the trumpet of the Lord will sound, it will be like the cry at midnight, The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him. How prepared are we going to be? Are we going to wake up and begin to look for oil? Are we going to let those little mistakes and negligence in our lives make us miss the kingdom of God? The negligence to prayer, to the things of God?

We are reminded in this parable this morning that nobody knows the day nor the hour; that day will be like a thief who breaks in unexpected. We are reminded this morning that there are certain things we cannot borrow; the extra oil cannot be borrowed. The five bridesmaids without oil tried to borrow from those who had it but did not succeed because not all things can be borrowed. We cannot borrow salvation, and therefore we cannot risk it for anything, for our eternity is precious. The parable of the ten bridesmaids reminds us that certain things are too late. Just as it was too late for the five bridesmaids to go buy oil, so also it will be too late to repent when the trumpet sounds.

Now we have the time to get extra oil, now that we have the time to repent and give our lives to Jesus Christ, let us do it. Whatever those things are that keep taking us from God, let us call on God for help and rise above them today.