A Reflection on Matthew 25:1-13
Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. (Matthew 25:5)
The bridegroom is delayed. The world is in chaos, hatred and division reign, and it feels like nothing we do will make it stop. We are crying out for mercy. And still, the bridegroom is delayed. Jesus, why? Why do you delay? We are bleeding, and it is a fatal wound. Do you not care?
I don’t understand sometimes. Why do you allow such evil? I know the “answers” that the theologians give, but those don’t give me any solace in the midst of this darkness. We are like sheep without a shepherd. Oh God, why do you delay?
“Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Rise up! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face;
Why forget our pain and misery?
For our soul has been humiliated in the dust;
Our belly is pressed to the earth.
Rise up, help us!
Redeem us in your mercy.”
“Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” Lord, my lamp is going out… I am losing hope. Will you give me some oil to revive the flame? Is it foolish of me to ask? If I were like the wise virgins, would I not be distressed? They were prepared, yes, just in case. But when the bridegroom was delayed, what did they feel? Disappointment? Frustration? Worry? To be wise is not to be unfeeling. But to be wise is to be humble. To know when things are out of our control. And to admit when we’re wrong.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I believe your word, Lord. I believe your promises. I will try to hope. When the sea of despair is welling up in me and threatens to quench the spark of hope in my soul, I will try to remember that your thoughts are not my thoughts and your ways are not my ways. Even though I do not understand, Jesus, I will try to trust in you.