First Reading: Wisdom 6:12-16 Reading the book of Wisdom – 12Wisdom is resplendent and always flourishing. She is easily beheld by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. 13She even anticipates, making herself known to those who desire her. 14Whoever gets up early for her will not get tired, for he will find her sitting at her door. 15To meditate on it is the perfection of prudence; and whoever stays awake because of it will soon live carefree. 16For she herself goes out to look for those who deserve her; full of kindness, she appears to them on the roads and meets her in all her projects. - Word of the Lord. Responsorial Psalm: 62(63) My soul thirsts for you and desires you, O Lord. 1. It is you, O Lord, my God! / Since dawn I have been looking for you eagerly. / My soul thirsts for you, † my flesh also desires you, / like a thirsty land without water! – R. 2. I come, therefore, to contemplate you in the temple, / to see your glory and power. / Your love is worth more than life: / and for this my lips praise you. – R. 3. I want, therefore, to praise you for your life / and raise my hands to you! / My soul will be satisfied, † as in a great festive banquet; / will sing joy on my lips. – R. 4. I think of you in my bed, at night, / in my vigils I sigh for you! / For me you were always a help; / from your wings in the shadow I exult! – R. Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 or 13-14 [The short form is in brackets.] Reading of the first letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians – [13Brothers, we do not want to leave you in uncertainty about the dead, so that you do not become sad like others, who have no hope. 14If Jesus died and rose again - and this is our faith -, in the same way God will bring back with Christ those who through him entered the sleep of death.] 15This we declare to you, according to the word of the Lord: we who are left with life for the coming of the Lord, we will not have an advantage over those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, when the command is given, with the voice of the archangel and with the sound of the trumpet, will descend from heaven, and those who have died in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are left alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words. - Word of the Lord. Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13 Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. It is necessary to watch and be ready; / on what day the Lord will come, you don’t know! (Mt 24,42.44) – R. Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Matthew – At that time, Jesus told his disciples this parable: 1 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the story of the ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were improvident, and the other five were provident. 3The thoughtless took their lamps, but did not take any oil with them. 4The foresighted ones, however, took vessels of oil along with the lamps. 5The groom was taking a long time, and they all ended up dozing off and sleeping. 6In the middle of the night, a cry was heard: ‘The bridegroom is coming. Go and meet him!’ 7Then the ten young women got up and prepared the lamps. 8The thoughtless said to the wise, 'Give us some oil, because our lamps are going out.' 9The far-sighted women replied: ‘Not at all, because the oil may be insufficient for us and for you. You’d better go buy from the sellers’. 10While they were going to buy oil, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went with him to the wedding feast. And the door closed. 11Finally, the other young women also arrived and said, ‘Lord! Sir! Open the door for us!’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you!’ 13Therefore, keep watch, for you do not know what day or hour it will be.” – Word of salvation. Reflection: The groom is Jesus. The banquet is the Kingdom of God, present and active in the world. The girls (five wise and five without sense) represent Jesus' disciples, men and women from everywhere. Lighted lamps indicate that the community must be light to the world (cf. Mt 5:14). Oil is the practice of righteousness. The bridegroom's delay is the delay in the Lord's coming (Matthew's community believed that Jesus would return soon). The sudden arrival, at midnight, corresponds to the coming of Jesus, at any time and at the final judgment. The various elements of the parable speak to us of personal responsibility: the right attitude is to remain vigilant. And vigilance is not passivity or deep sleep. Surveillance is personal action and community building: no one can replace anyone. Therefore, Jesus warns: “Be vigilant”.