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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Bridegroom Comes:But Are You Ready?

Monday night during the Bridegroom Matins several Gospels were read which directed not only the attention of the people of the church but also that of the clergy to the errors of our sins.
First was the story of the virgins with their oil lamps waiting for the coming of the Bridegroom.
While awaiting his arrival they fell asleep (the symbol of death) and when the bridegroom was nearing they awoke,but only half had the right amount of oil with them,while the other half did not.
Out of excitement those who had no oil asked those who did,for some of theirs,but those who had extra had only enough for themselves and could give none away.
The virgins,who had no oil ran off to buy more,but when they returned the doors to the great hall were shut and they were sent away.
This tells us that we,has God children,need to always be ready for the coming of the Bridegroom,or Judgement Day.
Our souls need to be pure as the virgins so we will be let into the wedding hall.
In the Temple while Jesus was teaching the people,a religious leader comes to him and questions his beliefs.
Jesus,knowing this leader was not being honest with him,ultimately tells this man that the religious leaders of his day have become corrupt and misleading.
He talks of white washed tombs,beautiful on the outside,but holding dead men's rotting bones inside.
Basically he tells them that when they glorify themselves by having the best seats at the parties,finest cuts of meat at banquets they are not being humble,they have gained their rewards here on earth and will have none in heaven.
He also warns them about laying heavy burdens and laws on men's shoulders but not being willing to assist them,even with one finger,to bear the loads placed on them.
They have made man serve the laws,instead of the laws serving man.
Thus setting man up to fail in their struggles to get nearer to God.
Lastly he talks about false prayers,standing in the middle of the Temple proclaiming their prayers and holiness to God so all can see them has pure on the outside,but not clean on the inside.
To add to that he speaks about them teaching new students these laws and beliefs and making these novices more ready for hell then themselves.
What these leaders are teaching are their sinful ways to those who are new thus making them more ready for hell,related to their corrupting of the innocent by false beliefs,so they never know the truth.
Jesus tells us we are all sinners and need to make amends,trying to lead better more Christian lives.
Even those who followed Jesus wronged him,Peter denied him and Judas betrayed him proving no one is perfect we all live in a fallen world with Satan always trying to trip us up,Even those closest to God may fall due to our nature.
As the bridegroom comes we need to understand that once we are fallen asleep,dead, it will be to late to increase our Holy Oil, or spiritual goodness.
We need to honestly push forward daily in our struggles,never relaxing on what we perceive has our excess holiness because the thief comes in the night and once he comes we will be lost to make adjustments.
In the end the laws and rules of the church are important,but following them in an honest and pure spirit always remembering we are sinners in need of forgiveness,loving our fellow men and God,is what we need to strive for until our last breath,then all bets are off.

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