Illustration by Phil Younk
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Be ready for second coming of Jesus

Based on the Gospel of Matthew 25:1-13

Always alert! Always ready! This Sunday and the one that follows are the two Sundays that remain before the start of Advent and the church’s new liturgical year. Attention in the readings is focused on the final things of life and the world’s end.

We’re all familiar with the total preparation today’s athletes undertake to get ready for a crucial game, competition or championship – no matter the sport.

When we really want something, we, too, look forward to it and prepare for it – be it a family trip, a special party, or some athletic competition. It’s easy to be ready for these events when we know the day and time to expect them.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us we must always be ready for his second coming at the end of time, even though no one knows exactly when that will be.

Jesus’ parable about the five wise and five foolish virgins with their oil lamps waiting to greet the bridegroom and show him the way to the wedding banquet refers to Jesus, the kingdom of God, and the world to come. It speaks about the things we need to do and the things we need to avoid doing so that we can gain eternal life in heaven.

What we need to remember is that our life here on earth is a time of preparation for that life in heaven. It’s not an on-again, off-again task but a constant one.

How do we keep ourselves always ready for Jesus’ second coming? The best way is to live each day as Jesus taught us – through prayer, Scripture and the Eucharist; through loving and serving God and others and thereby helping to build his kingdom on earth. In this way, we will always be ready to greet Jesus no matter when he arrives.

Be wise; walk in faith and full of hope; seek to grow in love; and be ever ready!