Jesus told his apostles to always be ready for his return
In this issue:
Reading of Nov. 12, 2017: Mt 25:1-13
One day, the apostles asked Jesus about the signs of his return at the end of the age.
Jesus said there would be wars, famines and earthquakes, and those who believe in him would be persecuted and killed. He warned of false prophets and false messiahs who would perform signs and wonders to try to deceive people.
All of these things would take place before his return, but Jesus said only God knows when that will be.
He pointed out that if the master of a house knew the day and time a thief was to break in, he would have stayed awake to prevent it.
“So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come,” Jesus said.
He told some parables to illustrate his point.
One was about 10 virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom before entering a wedding feast.
The bridegroom was long delayed, and the 10 virgins grew tired and fell asleep.
At midnight they were startled awake.
“Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” someone cried out.
The virgins’ lamps had remained lit as they slept and were almost out of oil.
Five of the virgins were wise and brought extra oil to refill their lamps.
But five of the virgins were foolish and did not bring extra oil. They begged the wise virgins to share their oil so they could greet the bridegroom with lit lamps.
“No, for there may not be enough for us and you,” the wise virgins said. “Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.”
As the foolish virgins went to buy more oil, the bridegroom came. Those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
When the foolish virgins returned with their oil, they tried to enter the wedding feast, but the door was locked.
“Lord, Lord, open the door for us!” they cried as they pounded on the door.
“Amen, I say to you, I do not know you,” the bridegroom said in reply.
Jesus looked at his friends with a serious expression.
“Therefore,” he said, “stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What did the apostles want to know more about?
2. Why did the 10 virgins fall asleep?
Weddings in Jesus’ time were quite different from modern-day weddings.
For example, families often arranged marriages for their children. Sometimes the bride and groom met each other for the first time when their families gathered to sign the marriage contract, or “ketubbah.” Once the contract was signed, the bride and groom were legally married, or “betrothed.”
As part of the contract, a price for the “dowry” was set. The dowry was money or property that the groom promised to pay the bride’s father before the couple could live together as husband and wife. Sometimes it took the groom several years to pay the dowry and ready a home for the couple. During that time, the bride continued to live with her family.
Once the dowry was paid, a date was set for the groom to come to the bride’s house. On the agreed-upon day, he and up to 10 of his friends arrived at the bride’s home, where the bride and up to 10 of her friends were waiting. Some ceremonies took place, and at nighttime, the bride, groom, and their friends and family processed to the home where the wedding feast would take place. This was either the groom’s house or the home of his parents.
All those in the procession were required to carry lit torches, either in the form of oil lamps or oil-soaked rags that were wrapped around sticks. This signified that they were part of the procession and could be admitted to the wedding feast. Anyone else was considered a party crasher.
The ensuing feast was not just a one-day celebration, but could last up to a week.
St. Columban was born in Ireland around the year 540. He entered a monastery in Bangor and taught there for 30 years.
About the year 590, he and 12 others were sent to Gaul — modern-day France — as missionaries. Columban set up three monasteries in Burgundy and was named abbot at Luxeuil.
He was expelled from Burgundy for preaching against immorality at court and clergy who were too lax. He then preached in Switzerland, and later decided to leave when it became dangerous.
Afterward, he went to Italy and founded a monastery that became a great center of learning.
We honor him on Nov. 23.
Below are the names and descriptions of some of Jesus’ parables. On the line next to each name, write the number of the correct description. Hints have been provided. For more hints, ask an adult to help you research the answers online.
1. If you want forgiveness, you must forgive others.
2. Those who hear and understand the word will bear much fruit.
3. The kingdom starts out small but expands greatly.
4. The gift of salvation is offered to all, but not all will accept it.
5. There is much rejoicing over a repentant sinner.
___ the sower (Matthew 13:18-23)
___ the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32)
___ the lost sheep (Matthew 18:10-14)
___ the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35)
___ the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14)
Answers: the sower (2); the mustard seed (3); the lost sheep (5); the unforgiving servant (1); the wedding feast (4)
Kids, enter our essay contest for a chance to win a $25 gift card!
The essay question for November 2017 is: How are you preparing for the unknown day and hour of Jesus’ return?
Send your essay — including name, home address, telephone number, school and grade — to Catholic Courier, PO Box 24379, Rochester, NY 14624.
All entries of 100 words or less must be received by the Catholic Courier no later than 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2017, to be considered for this contest. The winner, whose essay will be published in an upcoming print and online edition of Kids’ Chronicle, will be notified by phone.
1. Essay content must be original and written by the entrant.
2. Essays cannot exceed 100 words in length.
3. Entrants must be no more than 14 years of age as of the last day of this contest.
4. Only one essay per entrant will be accepted during any given contest period.
5. Winners will be selected at the sole discretion of the Catholic Courier, and all decisions are final.
6. By submitting an essay, the entrant agrees to allow his or her name, grade level, school name and essay submission to be published online and/or in print at the discretion of the Catholic Courier.
7. Submitted essays that do not adhere to these rules, entries that do not include all required information or entries that are deemed inappropriate by the Catholic Courier will be disqualified.
8. At the discretion of the Catholic Courier, this contest may be modified or cancelled without notice at any time. 9. All entries become the property of the Catholic Courier.