Sunday Devotional: Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour
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.“
In our childhood, youth, and for most of our lives, we live each day without nary a thought of our mortality — that we surely will die one day. Or if we do think about it, that “one day” is far, far away in some misty future.
It is only when a loved one passes away or if we receive a grave medical diagnosis that death — our own death — becomes real.
But in truth, as those who suddenly lost a relative or close friend know only too well, our “one day” can be any day.
A year and two months ago, I had spoken to my husband in our usual 6:30 a.m. phone call (he was in an assisted living facility), and all seemed well. Then, at 9 a.m., I received the dreaded phone call, that he had had a stroke and was taken to ER. Two days later, he passed away — my intellectual soul mate whom I had loved since I was 22.
My only consolation is that, at my insistence and hours-long wait for a priest, my husband received the holy sacrament of the Last Rites before he breathed his last. Though his body is gone, his immortal soul lives and is with God — my belief confirmed by messages in words and visions that I, my best friend and my husband’s former student all received.
So, when Our Lord instructs us to “stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour,” we really need to heed His warning.
If you were to die tomorrow, how would you account for your life before the Creator?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,