The ten bridesmaids


“…at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look!  Here is the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him’ ” (NRSV, Matthew 25:6)

The parables which Our Blessed Lord told during Holy Week had a sombre urgency of their own.  His mind was preoccupied with the imminence of his rejection and Crucifixion by his enemies which was the price he had to pay for the salvation of mankind.  And so, as he looked ahead to the inevitability of man’s judgement of God on Good Friday so also he warned his listeners of the inevitability of God’s judgement of man, and of the need to prepare for that judgement by watchfulness and faithfulness.

It was in these circumstances, when not only his own life but all human history was moving towards its dreadful and sublime climax, that he told the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids: a parable whose power is all the more felt by its contrast between the happy-go-lucky gaiety of the illustration and its uncomfortable meaning.

Prev Next »