I found this note online this morning:-
The word “Gethsemane” means “oil press.” The Jews put olives into bags made of mesh fabric and placed them in a press to squeeze olive oil out of them. The first pressings yielded pure olive oil which was prized for many uses, including healing and giving light in lanterns. In fact, we consecrate it and use it to administer to the sick.
The lesson of the parable of the 10 virgins follows on from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24. We should have spare oil and we should trim the wicks in our lamps to ensure we get an efficient ‘burn’. In practice this means using our spare time wisely, so that when the pressure is on we have some spare energy and resources (physical and spiritual) to keep serving God effectively.
Bags of Gold
I know this is only a parable, but I wonder what the Master would have said if the servant with two bags of gold had lost everything on a bad business deal? Of course Our Lord is not really concerned about the amount of gold that the servants made, but their motivation to make best use of their gifts. Jot down three talents or gifts that you have and think how well you are using them at the moment. If Jesus came back tomorrow, would he say “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Sheep and Goats
And yet another challenging parable! We really do need God’s grace to help us measure up to these expectations. I find it helpful to read true stories of those ‘saints’ (like Mother Teresa) who have given their lives to serving the needs of the poor, destitute and helpless. We may not be able to emulate them in a grand way, but we can in small ways. Think of someone you know in need of some help and do something about it today; the fact that you care enough to act is what Our Lord is looking for.
“Please God, help me to work proactively day by day for the good of the disadvantaged and needy, always giving You the Glory.”