(Adults, we can think of the 3-6 year old as in a time of BEING. BEING in love with God, BEING a child of God. This reflection focuses on BEING chosen by God.)
In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus tells us another parable about the Kingdom of God. We know that when Jesus tells a parable, he wants us to ask ourselves what more he might mean. In this parable, we hear about a bridegroom and ten bridesmaids. A bridegroom is someone getting married. We know that when people love so much they get married; they have a wedding. A wedding celebrates love! Everyone at a wedding fills with love, but the bridegroom and his bride, they love the most.
“Then the kingdom of God will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
The bridesmaids have an important job to do. The bridegroom chooses them to light his way. He arrives at night and he needs to see. Each bridesmaid has an oil lamp. An oil lamp burns like a candle; the oil makes the light shine brightly.
As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps.
Everyone falls asleep waiting for the bridegroom to arrive! He comes in the middle of the night when it is so dark. The bridesmaids quickly light their lamps so that he can see.
the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet
They go into the banquet with the bridegroom to celebrate how much he loves.
Now we ask ourselves that question: what more can Jesus mean? Who could this bridegroom be like, the one who loves the most? Lots of people love, but who would we say loves the most...?
We might say the bridegroom is like Jesus. We know how much Jesus, the Good Shepherd loves his sheep. He says,
I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
He loves so much, he gives everything to them.
We know that Jesus lays down his life—he dies on the cross—but he is risen to new life, never to die again. The light of his Risen life will never go out. At church we light the Paschal candle to remind us of this everlasting life.
So now we have to wonder who the bridesmaids might be. Who are these people the bridegroom chooses to light his way? Who are these people who carry light for Jesus?
When we are baptized, a candle is lit from this Paschal candle and is given to us. Jesus gives us light from his everlasting light. We wonder what this could mean...
We have light from Jesus. Could we be the bridesmaids in the parable? Does Jesus choose us to light his way?
Our baptism candle probably lies in a drawer or on a shelf now. It is probably not lit. Does this mean we have lost the light that Jesus gives us in baptism? Of course not. Where do we carry that light?
There is a song that seems to be specially made for this parable:
How special we are to be chosen to light the way for him!