The Gospel reading from the Mass for Friday of the 21st Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 25:1-13.

After revealing the violent worldwide turmoil and coming judgment of men in Matthew Chapter 24, in the second of three parables, Christ again exhorts men to be morally ready at all times for His coming for He will ultimately judge all men.

After a period of betrothal (married but living apart for a period of time prior to sexual relations), Jewish marriage customs at the time of Christ included the procession from the bride’s house to the groom’s house, often at night with lit torches, for a week-long feast. In the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Maidens, Catholics (10 maidens) wait for Christ (the Bridegroom) to arrive (come again/meet at the Judgment), uncertain when they will meet Christ (die and meet Him or when He will come again). All Catholics are imperfect (fall asleep).

Faithful Catholics (5 wise maidens) hold to the Catholic faith (hold lamps) and store up a reservoir of good works (are prepared with plenty of oil). Causal Catholics (5 foolish maidens) profess faith (hold lamps) but do not yield the fruit of good works (no oil). When men meet Christ in the Judgment (the arrival of the Groom) before entering Heaven (the marriage feast, Casual Catholics (foolish maidens) who are without sufficient good works (oil) will be rejected by Christ (I do not know you) and not enter (door is shut) Heaven (wedding feast).  Faithful Catholics (wise maidens) with good works (oil) will be rewarded with entry into Heaven (wedding feast).

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ is the Bridegroom for the eternal wedding feast of Heaven. Divine Teacher, Christ constructs memorable parables that build off of everyday life to teach and remember key spiritual truths. Divine Judge, Christ is the “gatekeeper” of Heaven and will allow the faithful to enter and the unfaithful will be turned away.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1)  Some like to argue that there is a reasonable hope that all men are saved.  Reflect on this (and many other) teachings of Christ that confirm that He will exclude many from Heaven. Heaven is not a “gimme.”

2) Because the reality of the Beatific Vision of God in Heaven is impossible to fully grasp, it is rarely discussed in many parishes. Refresh your understanding of the blessings of Heaven (CCC 163, 1020, 1023-1029, 1042-1050, 1052-1054) and ask Christ to give you a glimmer of Heaven and the fervent hunger to live in the Kingdom of Heaven with Christ forever.

3) In opposition to Christ’s Parable of the Maidens which features virginity (maidens), chaste relations (betrothal) and the celebration of marriage, In these dark days of sexual promiscuity (fornication, masturbation, adultery, homosexual acts, etc), many mock or ignore the idea of chastity and virginity. Renew your understanding for the call to Chastity (CCC 2337-2359) and pray for Christ to help you battle sexual temptation and to frequently turn to Him in repentance and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries