BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon

(Mt. 25:1-13)
In the day’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins. Two weeks before the Season of Advent, a time to prepare and be aware of the Second coming, this parable places us in that position of anticipation. Preparedness, as shown by the five wise virgins who brought enough oil in case of any unforeseen eventualities during the wedding. The other five were called foolish by the Lord for neglecting their responsibility of seeing to it that they will have lighted lamps when the wedding comes. But there is something more in this parable.

Like some of us, we may be caught unprepared and be left outside knocking at heaven’s door begging consideration and forgiveness. The response of the bridegroom reveals a very important aspect of faith, “Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.” This was not the first time knowing was given great importance. Do you know the Lord Jesus? The question really asks if you have a “relationship” with Him? We may know a lot “about Jesus” but we may not know Him experientially. It is a lot different hearing about a person than meeting the person. In the same way, following God’s commandments is not enough. We also must have constant communication and encounters with the Lord. Prayer is one good form of encounter and communication.

A lot of our experiences do not need knowing people. We do not need to know presidents of insurance companies to get our benefits. We do not need to know personally the president to be served by government. We do not need to know sports officials to play the sport. In other words, we can receive benefits and participate in events without knowing the leaders and heads of companies.

But not with faith. Knowing God and be known by Him is a requirement. We can begin by reading Scriptures and trying them out in our lives. That way, we can know the veracity and effectiveness of His words. prayer, as I had stated above places us face to face with God and be given the opportunity to talk to Him and listen to Him. We know how important is communication in human relationships. Much more with God.

His will is vital to our salvation. It is unfortunate that we usually seek God’s presence mostly when we are in need, in trouble, or desperate situation. That is not a healthy relationship. It is a relationship, a knowing out of need. we must relate to God in season and out of season, in good and bad times, for better for worse, or in sickness and in health. His presence gives us assurance and reminds us of our call to holiness.

As a priest, I had experienced that so many times. People usually call or visit me when they need my ministry. I had accepted that, of course. But few would come just to waste time with me. My function is how I am defined. rare would I get a call just saying, ‘How are you?” We do the same with God. So, do not be surprised if and when we knock on heaven’s door we will be asked, “Who are you? I do not know you!”

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