Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Pray, hope, and don’t worry.
—St. Pio of Pietrelcina
The parable of the wise virgins is a wake-up call for us to arise from complacency and be attentive to our salvation. However, Jesus is not telling us here to be anxious as we await His coming, nor is He asking us to frantically try to prove our worthiness for Heaven. He is calling us not to paranoia but to active trust and dependence on Him.
The foolish virgins’ mistake was thinking the bridegroom would arrive on their time, not His. They did not anticipate a delay, and they weren’t ready to accommodate the change in plans. Rather than bring oil for their lamps and do what little they could in anticipation of the feast, they simply assumed that what they already had would be enough, and they fell asleep.
The wise virgins, too, fell asleep while waiting for the bridegroom. They were vigilant in their preparations, but their waiting was not spent in distress and agitation. They trusted that the bridegroom would arrive, readied their lamps, and did not fret. They waited in joyful anticipation, trusting that even if there was a delay, the bridegroom would come for them. Once their lamps had been put in order, they were able to rest peacefully, knowing that the feast was near.