St. Justin Russolillo (SDV) has a beautiful interpretation for all who come to the point of experiencing their inadequacy, as we see in the gospel passage of today (Mat.25:1-13.) The five unwise virgins who could not make it into the banquet hall with the Bridegroom might have been welcomed into the banquet room if they had the courage to wait and implored help from the Bridegroom Himself. They failed to provide enough oil, and to avoid embarrassment they went off to make up, by themselves, their inadequacies. They were not courageous enough to face their inadequacies. Of course, there is no excuse for succumbing to unpreparedness; every one of us should be committed to making sure that the oil of sanctity does not run short in our lives. However, there are persons who have fallen short of the Lord’s requirement and the Commandments. We all have been in that situation sometime in our lives, “we all have fallen short of God’s glory” (Rom.3:23.) If we turn to God, we will find help. He understands when persons sin out of rebelliousness and when some sins committed are unplanned. If only we could wait and turn to His mercy, no sin is greater than His love. He says, “even though your conscience accuses you, My love is greater than your conscience.”  Some versions put it this way, “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything” (I Jn.3:20.)


I never thought that being afraid of embarrassment or humiliation is also a sign of pride until the Lord made me understand that. Many persons are currently going through some sense of guilt and are tipping towards self-destruction. Recall Judas and Peter; both of them had chances but Judas succumbed to self-destruction when torn apart by guilt. Both of them had contrition, but one went off the tip of the hill and ended up in abysmal dissolution. Peter on the other hand, recovered, and has been affixed upon the indissoluble rock perpetually. Guilt can create terrible scenarios that we can hardly imagine. As I contemplate the context of virgins read today, I recall what was in the news few years ago. A pastor set himself on fire after he realized that he had put a teenage virgin into family situation. He was very respected in his church and preached righteous living. However, he sinned. When he learned that she was pregnant, he thought that persons in the church would later know about it. He drove off in his car, and eventually persons found his car razed in fire with the remnants of his bones in the car. Persons were quick to discover his car was meticulously locked up, and intentionality of action was affirmed, a suicide.


How many persons are going through deep depression at this moment because of a sin of the past. Peter is judged wise. The five unwise virgins could have been judged wise had they turned to the mercies of the Bridegroom; you also can be judged wise if you can turn now to the mercies of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ.  


Fr. Ignatius of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (cmdorg.org) WMF

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