Categories: HomiliesPublished On: November 7th, 2020Tags: , , 686 words20.8 min read

Here are links to our readings for the day:

Then the Door Was Locked

The parable of the wise and foolish virgins has always intrigued me. The customs of the Jewish people carry a great amount of symbolism. Messages of being prepared or planning come to mind. Having enough on hand is important. The Jewish wedding celebration would last a week. Remember the story of Jesus changing the water to wine? Even though our wedding celebrations today may only be one day, months of thought and preparation go into planning for this one day. And when the day comes, the bride and groom greet their guests, they spend a little time with each person. Even the guests have prepared to come to the party. Remember the parable about the one person who came to the wedding feast but did not have a wedding garment? He was bound hand and foot and cast out into the darkness. It is good to have this thought of being prepared and planning well in mind.

The phrase that caught my attention in today’s gospel was, “Then the door was locked.” Even when the foolish virgins returned with oil, they were not allowed in. I wonder if the oil does not symbolize how we have prepared for the coming banquet? Perhaps we can symbolize the oil as our prayers, coming to mass, spending time with our Lord, doing good and avoiding evil. With this kind of oil, we cannot share it with others, even if we wanted to. It is not transferable. When we die, what we have for oil is all we have. Will we be like the wise or the foolish virgins? Because I would hate to think of the door being locked and having been left out because I did not have enough oil.

Then the door was locked. Did you notice, there is not a second chance? Even though you ran to get more oil, you are locked out. There is only so much time to prepare. If you cannot get into the wedding banquet, then there is only one alternative. Perhaps you guessed it – hell. You are invited to the final banquet but if you do not have enough oil you are locked out. Some people think God is so merciful He will let everyone in. This type of thinking does not make sense. If God is going to let everyone in why do we have to suffer? Why is there illness? Why do we pray? Why do we come to mass? This whole thing about the Church is rather pointless. Let us just do whatever we want.

Some people think we should just all coexist, just get along. This works if we follow that person’s definition of getting along. We forget, who sets up the definition of what getting along is? If it is you, then obviously you are god, making all the rules. But if I do not agree with your rules, then I can set up my own rules. And notice, we are only talking about rules here. There is no talk about love or mercy or forgiveness. If you do not follow my rules you are out, another door is locked.

And some people still think they can earn their way to heaven. Sadly, they do not realize the price was paid by Jesus. He died for us. He is the only way to heaven. The only way to heaven is to follow Jesus. And that means developing a relationship with Him. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

I would suggest that we all spend a few minutes every day thinking about how we are preparing for heaven. It would also be good to think how we have wasted our opportunities to prepare and plan for heaven. When the time comes, may you have enough oil to enter into the eternal banquet.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Fr Ed Anderson
Email: fatheredanderson[at]
Phone: 715.817.3736

St. Joseph Church – Rice Lake
Holy Trinity – Haugen
St. John the Evangelist – Birchwood
Our Lady of Lourdes – Dobie

Fr Ed Anderson