Holy Tuesday: Service of the Bridegroom continues with two parables

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The bridegroom service continues on Holy Tuesday, with the Church remembering two parables: The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-3), and The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

These parables point to the inevitability of the Parousia and deal with such subjects as spiritual vigilance, stewardship, accountability and judgment.

You can listen to the hymn here:

The two parables:

  • The Parable of the Ten Virgins:
Icon of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Artist: Unknown.

Ten virgins (bridesmaids) wait for the bridegroom, who is Christ. Five are prepared for His arrival, five are not. When the bridegroom appears suddenly in the dead of night, only the five wise, prepared, virgins are allowed into the wedding feast. The five foolish virgins are shut out.

This parable teaches that Judgment Day will be like the situation in which the virgins found themselves: some ready for it, some not ready. The time one decides for God is now and not at some undefined point in the future.

  • The Parable of the Talents:
Icon of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Artist: Unknown.

A man goes away on a trip. Before he leaves, he entrusts money to his slaves. To one he gives five talents, to the second he gives two talents, and to the third he gives a single talent. The first two slaves double their money. They give the original investment and their profit to their master when he returns.

The third slave, however, buries his talent out in a field instead of trying to make a profit. He returns only this when his master comes back. The master is pleased with the first two slaves, but he is dissatisfied with the third’s actions. He reprimands this slave and casts him out into the darkness.

This parable teaches that our lives are not ours to live according to our wishes. We owe our lives and wealth to God. We are like those stewards: faithfully using our Master’s assets while waiting for His return.

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