A: What a delightful picture of Sophia (or “Wisdom” as we say in English), a symbol with deep significance. She is on the prowl, wanting to give herself to anyone who is in a right relationship with God. This wisdom comes from God alone, so she (wisdom) is portrayed as representing those things or characteristics that come from heaven above: light, beauty, radiance, and so on. Anyone who desires to know God better will receive this gift of wisdom, simply because she is so easy to find by those who truly seek her.
So, what does she give us? Well, we’ll become “free from care” (v.15) – which means we will be at peace, that is have peace within ourselves. Once we have wisdom, i.e., once we are in right relationship with God, peace will indeed reign in our hearts. All this is possible because wisdom from above is really a revelation of God and is from God; so it is a meeting with the divine indwelling Lord.
What happens if I am slack or neglectful of my duty to respond to Sophia’s pursuit of me? Well, Jesus tells us about that in the Gospel for today. The story of the five foolish maidens (Matthew 25:1-13). They were unprepared at a time when it mattered most, even though they had all kinds of opportunities to suitably prepare themselves. To use another expression from Jesus’ time and culture, they had “let the oil burn out” in their lamps, and neglected to replace it. Or worse, they had not taken the correct precautions to acquire this necessary “oil” in the first place.
The gospel always places an ethical demand on every disciple. We must choose to respond to the love offered by God, the Sophia or wisdom that is God. Those who choose to follow Jesus and accept his love are like the five wise maidens; those who are negligent in their response are the foolish ones.
We live in a time of watching and waiting. God always takes the lead in our spiritual life; he offers us the greatest gift of all- free of charge- a close relationship with him. If we lack the desire to seek him and the endurance in responding to his offer, then we truly are acting like fools (Matthew 25:1-13) and will not be welcomed at the eternal banquet.