Holy and Great Tuesday

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, `Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, `Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:1-13

10 maidens; 5 were wise and the other 5 were foolish. When the bridegroom is delayed they all sleep. The wise had prepared ahead of time. The foolish had not prepared and slept in laziness. In this parable the wise come off uncaring and maybe, dare we say it, unchristian. But each person must acquire the oil of the Spirit for themselves. Everyone stands on their own two feet. Each and every one of us must work out our own salvation. We have the duty to weed our own gardens and “bear fruit that befits repentance.” Matt 3:8

Watchfulness signifies inner stability, soberness, tranquility and joy. It means spiritual alertness, attentiveness and vigilance. Watchfulness is the deep personal resolve to find and do the will of God, embrace every commandment and every virtue, and guard the intellect and heart from evil thoughts and actions. Watchfulness is the intense love of God. From http://lent.goarch.org

Soul, mindful of your final hour, and dreading the fate of the fig tree, cultivate with diligence the talent you were given. Endure, be vigilant, and say: “May we not be shut out of the bridal chamber!” Kontakion

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