Read­ing Time: 3 minutes



As the litur­gic­al year gradu­ally comes to an end, the read­ings also reflect such an end. In the pre­vi­ous chapters of the gos­pel, accord­ing to Mat­thew, Jesus used many and dif­fer­ent stor­ies to illus­trate what the king­dom of God looks like. Mat­thew chapters 21–23 con­tain spe­cif­ic ref­er­ences to the king­dom. In those chapters, Jesus reminded the reli­gious lead­ers (priests and eld­ers) that those they regard as sin­ners (tax col­lect­ors, pros­ti­tutes, and oth­ers) make it to the king­dom of God, while they them­selves do not (Matt 21:28–32); that due to their unfaith­ful­ness, the king­dom of God will be taken away from them and entrus­ted to those who know its value, and who will take prop­er care of it (Matt 21:33–43); that they were not qual­i­fied for the mar­riage ban­quet (Matt 22:1–14); that they should render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God (Matt 22:15–22); that God is not God of the dead but of the leav­ing (Matt 22:23–33); and that the greatest com­mand­ment is the love of God and of neigh­bour (Matt 22:34–40). Mat­thew, chapter 24, is the begin­ning of the eschat­o­lo­gic­al series. Here, Jesus alludes to his death and resur­rec­tion by cit­ing the temple and advises the dis­ciples to be care­ful not to fall prey to the false proph­ets, whose inten­tion is only to deceive and lead people away from the king­dom of God. The 25th chapter of the gos­pel, accord­ing to Mat­thew, con­tains at least three inter­est­ing and sur­pris­ing eschat­o­lo­gic­al epis­odes. They are inter­est­ing and sur­pris­ing because they con­cern the events of the after­life, and Jesus appears to be speak­ing dif­fer­ently. The first epis­ode is an invit­a­tion to avoid fool­ish­ness and embrace wisdom.

Foolishness and wisdom

Among the ten brides­maids that went out with their lamps to meet the bride­groom, Mat­thew spe­cifies that “five of them were fool­ish, while five were wise” (Matt 25:2). This fur­ther spe­cific­a­tion is very import­ant. The two Greek words mōros and phron­i­m­os mean fool­ish and intel­li­gent. While the oppos­ite of mōros is sophos (wise), the oppos­ite of phron­i­m­os is mōros (fool­ish, stu­pid) and aphrōn (fool­ish, sense­less). Mōros is a term of reproach. It refers to a fool­ish and stu­pid per­son. That is, someone lack­ing foresight (cf. Matt 7:26). No won­der the fool says there is no God (cf. Ps 14:1; 53:1). Hence, they are cor­rupt and do abom­in­able things. Since foresight means provid­ence by vir­tue of plan­ning prudently for the future, a per­son who lacks foresight is devoid of prudence and can­not go bey­ond this moment. Such a per­son is irra­tion­al and intel­lec­tu­ally defi­cient. Con­versely, phron­i­m­os refers to the qual­ity of a person’s reas­on­ing capa­city and think­ing, which stems from insight, foresighted­ness, wis­dom, intel­li­gence, and sens­ib­il­ity (cf. Matt 7:24). In describ­ing the atti­tudes of those who hear his teach­ings and put them into prac­tice or refuse to listen to them, Jesus uses these two terms: phron­i­m­os and mōros (Matt 7:24–27). Fool­ish­ness and wis­dom are two dif­fer­ent atti­tudes towards life.


The ten brides­maids rep­res­ent human­ity. The five wise and five fool­ish ones rep­res­ent the atti­tudes of people towards the king­dom of God. The vir­gin­ity of the brides­maids refers to the mor­al pur­ity of people towards God. Any­one aspir­ing for the king­dom of God must be pure (cf. Matt 5:8; Ps 24:3–4). Tak­ing or not tak­ing extra oil refers to the pre­pared­ness or non-pre­pared­ness of every per­son. The lamps refer to our right­eous­ness, which must illu­min­ate every aspect of our lives (cf. Matt 5:15–16). The oil is the grace of God (cf. 2Cor 12:9) that must be allowed to lub­ric­ate our lives so that we can be right­eous and just. The bride­groom is Christ. The peri­od of wait­ing refers to the peri­od of our sojourn in this world. The ban­quet hall is heav­en. The idea of wait­ing until the last moment to puri­fy one­self could be coun­ter­pro­duct­ive. It should be com­pletely avoided because no one knows the day or the hour the bride will arrive (Matt 25:13). The refus­al of the five wise brides­maids to give some oil to the fool­ish ones and the refus­al to open the door for them are not acts of wicked­ness or a lack of human com­pas­sion. It means there is time for everything. It means not com­prom­ising your own chances of being saved. You should know when to help someone and when not to. Remem­ber, this is strictly restric­ted to salvation.

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPY OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vol. I)! The reflec­tion for the 32nd Sunday is found on pages 523–532. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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