Holy Tuesday: 10 Lamps

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Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  

While the bridegroom tarried,* they all slumbered and slept. At midnight there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go out to meet him.”

Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said unto the wise, “Give us of your oil for our lamps are gone out.”

But the wise answered, saying, “Not so lest there be not enough for us and you, but go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.”

While they went to buy, the bridegroom came; they that were ready went in with him to the marriage and the door was shut.

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.”

But he answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

– The Parable of the Ten Virgins, Matthew 25: 1-13

We are reminded that watchfulness and readiness do not mean a wearisome, spiritless performance of formal and empty obligations. Most certainly it does not mean inactivity and slothfulness.

Watchfulness signifies inner stability, soberness, tranquility and joy. 

It means spiritual alertness, attentiveness, and vigilance.

Watchfulness is the deep personal resolve to find and do the will of God, embrace every commandment and every virtue, and guard the intellect and heart from evil thoughts and actions.

Watchfulness is the intense love of God.

*Tarried: verb

stay longer than intended; delay leaving a place.

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