During today’s speech during the Angelus prayer on November 12, Pope Francis reflected on the parable of the ten virgins. He emphasized that we should be prepared, cultivate the “oil” of the soul and devote time every day to what really matters and what brings us closer to the Lord and to others.
Pope Francis reflected on today’s reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew, the center of which is the parable of the ten virgins called to meet the bridegroom. According to the Pope, reading offers us a parable concerning the meaning of each person’s life. In the passage about the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom, five of them brought enough oil for their lamps, while the other five ran out of oil. Five virgins who are ready for the bridegroom’s arrival are rewarded. While the Pope acknowledged that all these virgins are there to welcome the bridegroom, as they wait with their lamps, there is a fundamental difference between the wise and the foolish, and that is in preparation. .
The wise virgins also took containers of oil with their lamps, which, according to the Pope, is the invisible element that creates light. “Here is the difference: oil. And what is characteristic of oil? That it is not visible: it is inside the lamps, it is not noticeable, but without it the lamps give no light.” The Pope further called on the faithful to see the meaning of this parable in their own lives. “Let’s look at ourselves and see that our lives are governed by the same risk,” he noted, acknowledging that we often care about our appearance, our image and making a good impression in front of others. “However, Jesus says that the wisdom of life lies elsewhere: in caring for what is not seen, but more importantly, in caring for the heart.” The Pope called this wisdom the so-called stewardship of the inner life, which is supposed to stop us to listen to our heart, watch over our own thoughts and feelings and create space for silence and listening.
According to the Pope, this requires us not to fall into the trap of activism, but to devote time to the Lord and listen to his word. According to the Pope, the Gospel warns us against neglecting the “oil of the inner life” or the “oil of the soul” and emphasizes the importance of preparation. “The inner life cannot be improvised, but requires constancy and a little preparation every day.” The Holy Father then asked the faithful to ask themselves how they are “preparing”. “So we can ask ourselves: what am I preparing myself for at this moment in my life? Maybe I’m trying to put some savings aside, I’m thinking about a house or a new car, about concrete plans… These are good things. But I’m also thinking about has he spent time caring for his heart, praying and serving others, the Lord, who is the goal of life?”. Each of us must examine the state of the “oil” of his soul and ask: “Am I nourishing it and keeping it in good condition?”. Then the Holy Father asked the Virgin Mary to help us care for the oil of inner life.
At the end of Sunday’s midday prayer, the Pope again condemned the war conflicts in the world: “Let the weapons stop, they will never bring peace, and let the conflict not spread! Enough!” He also asked for help to the people of Gaza and for the release of the hostages. He then reminded that every person, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, member of any nation or religion, every person is sacred, valuable in God’s eyes and has the right to live in peace.