Proper 27, Year A: Matthew 25:1-13: Be Ready and in Relationship

Parable of the Ten Virgins


You can see all the lectionary readings for the Proper 27, Year A by clicking here. I have chosen to discuss the passage from the Gospel of Matthew.

Today’s parable is about something that would have been more easily understood at the time (and in some other cultures today). The bridesmaids would all wait at home with the bride for the bridegroom and his own companions to come and pick them all up to take them to the place of the wedding. He would be busy making arrangements and he might be late in coming, so they might have to wait some time. The foolish bridesmaids are unprepared and didn’t bring extra lamp oil (they would have had little lamps that needed extra oil for a long wait). Finally the bridegroom is on his way and they all gather up their lamps to go. The wise bridesmaids have enough for their own lamps (because they were prepared and ready) but none to spare, so when the foolish girls ask them for some, the wise ones advise them to go buy more. But when they are out buying oil, they miss the arrival of the bridegroom. They can’t even get into the feast and are shamed for their foolishness.


Jesus finishes his story by saying, “So always be ready. You don’t know the day or the time when the Son of Man will come.” So we have to be ready for Jesus at all times–so often we are distracted by the world around us and our own troubles and not giving our live in love to Jesus and to others. Each of us is responsible for our own relationship with God and our readiness, even if we are also in community within a church.