St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

St. Petka - Paraskeva - 2003

by Fr. Rodney Torbic

Matthew 25:1-13

The twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew has a strong lesson on preparedness. The Lord Jesus Christ told of ten virgins, five wise and five foolish.

The five wise virgins were prepared when the bridgegroom came. The five foolish virgins were unprepared and were locked out.

Blessed Theophylact said the Lord used this parable to teach those who understand the greatness of the virtue of virginity not to neglect the others.

Mercy and compassion and almsgiving are important lessons. The are to be coupled with virginity. Blessed Theophylact goes on to say the lamps in the parable are our souls and minds. Our souls and minds are lit with the oil of virtues and almsgiving.

A primary lesson in this parable according to Blessed Theophylact is that there is no time for repentance and deeds after our departure from this life.

We have to be prepared at all times. We have to use well the time given us by God in this life. The Lord does not know those who lack mercy in daily life. Blessed Theophylact says: "If we do not labor and trade with good deeds, we extinguish the light of God that is in us."

We gather today in the Divine Liturgy to pray and to worship and give glory to God. We have the opporunity to learn from the Epistle and Gospel readings.

We have the opportunity to learn from the fullness of the Divine Liturgy. We have the opportunity to be strengthened and renewed by the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

The immediate present is the only time of which we are certain. We make choices on how we will use each moment of time. Each decision we make draws us closer to Jesus Christ or moves us further from Christ.

We prepare for the Second Coming of Christ by the decisions we make throughout each day. The Gospel lesson on the ten virgins is an important lesson in preparedness.

It is easy to lapse into periods of carelessness. It is easy to gradually remove oneself from a close relationship with Jesus Christ. It is easy, step by step to gradually depart from the path taken up at the baptismal fount.

Believers are wise when they heed the lesson of the wise virgins. Believers are wise when they constantly and completely review their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Each day is an opportunity for full repentance. Each day is an opportunity to demonstrate mercy, compassion and love in relationships with others. Each day is an opportunity to share the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today and each day is the time to pattern life after the five wise virgins. Our Lord Jesus Christ said with certainty: "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (Mt.25:1-13)

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