The WORD in Other Words by Fr Cornelio Alpuerto SVD (Philippines)
This may have come to you as something of a surprise, as it did to me. That what you might have thought of as a parable about a wedding turned out to be a parable about death. The bridegroom, in this way of understanding the parable, is Jesus Christ. His sudden arrival stands for the moment when, ready or not, each of us will face our Redeemer for judgment, writes Fr. Joseph V. Landy, S.J. in his “Gospel Reflections.” Then the concern to get ready for the coming of the bridegroom, like the “wise” virgins in the parable do, comes to the fore.
Then the lady parishioner, one of the richest in his parish, comes to ask the venerable looking parish priest, “How can I make sure to live my last day on earth for God?” To which the priest answers: “Every day, for the love of God, give — give to the hungry, to the thirsty, to the naked, to the homeless, the sick, people behind bars… Do it every day without fail.”
I learned a poem many years ago on the occasion of our annual retreat at Dumanyug Catholic High School, Branch of the University of San Carlos, which I still know by heart, thank God! Let me share it with you:
Life is short, and death is sure: the hour of death remains obscure a soul you have, and only one, if that be lost, all hope is gone; Waste not time, while time shall last, for after death, ‘tis ever past: all-seeing God, your judge will be. And heaven or hell your destiny: All earthly things will pass away… Eternity alone will stay.