- Friday, 26 August 2016 -
Friday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 25:1-13.

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint Theodore the Studite
Every time is the right time

My brothers, there is a time for sowing and a time for harvesting, a time for peace and another for war, a time for labor and another for rest (cf. Eccl 3). But all times are right and every journey is worthwhile for the salvation of the soul, at least if we wish it to be. Therefore, let us always be moving towards the good, ready to move, full of eagerness, putting words into deeds. For, says the apostle Paul, “it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified” (Rom 2:13)… Is this the time for spiritual warfare? Then we should fight vigorously and pursue with God’s aid the devilish thoughts that rise up inside us. If, on the other hand, it is time for spiritual harvest, we should enthusiastically gather in the crops and collet together into spiritual barns provisions for eternal life… It is always the time for prayer, for tears, for reconciliation after a failing, always time to take the Kingdom of heaven by storm. Why delay? Why set aside till later? Why put off our improvement from day to day? “For the world in its present form is passing away” (1Cor 7:31)… Are we going to live forever?... Doesn’t the example of the ten virgins make us tremble? “The Bridegroom is coming,” says the Gospel, “go out to meet him.” And the wise virgins went out to meet him with lamps alight and went in to the wedding feast; whereas the foolish virgins, delayed by their lack of good works, cried out: “Lord, Lord, open the door for us. But he said in reply: Amen, I say to you, I do not know you” and he added: “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” So we should stay awake and rouse the soul to soberness, compunction, holiness, purification and illumination so as to prevent death from shutting the door and no one being there to open it to us or help us.

Small Catechism, no. 130 (Migne 1993, p. 279)