We begin the last Chapter in Matthew before the Passion narrative. There will be three parables. Today is the first of those.
Remember the parable about the Ten bridesmaids are invited to a wedding. Five are wise and five are foolish. The bridegroom is late and they fall asleep. The oil runs out. The wise ones have an extra supply of oil. They get into the wedding. The other five are locked out!
This is a good example of looking for the moral of the story in the parable. It is not about the selfishness of the five who are well prepared and do not wish to share. Details do not matter in a parable. It is about the punch line: “stay awake for you do not know the day nor the hour”.
Matthew’s Gospel is in the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. He is constantly calling his disciples to be ready. We have to be prepared for the bridegroom. We do not know the day nor the hour. We are called to wait. This is the same story as those invited to the King’s son’s wedding. The bridesmaids are invited as special guests. They are expected to be there.
This is precisely Jesus’ own situation. He will be called to make a commitment, to face a certain death for teaching God’s word. We are called to do the same. The comparison must not be missed.
One commentator says: What is thought provoking is that Jesus presents the choice in terms of a joyous and light-filled celebration – a wedding feast- not the threat of an unfair trial and execution.