*“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise.When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them.But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps.When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut.Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.
The Parable of the Talents
*“For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them.To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work and gained five more.In the same way, the one who had two gained two more.But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it.After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them.The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed,so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter?Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
*“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you?When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’*“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels!For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink.I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”