The Parable of the Ten Virgins.[a] 1 “Then[b] the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 When the foolish ones took their lamps, they neglected to take any oil with them, 4 whereas those who were wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 Since the bridegroom was delayed in coming, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight, a shout was raised: ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 The wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for both us and you. You had better go to the merchants and buy some.’
10 “While they went off to purchase it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was locked. 11 Afterward, the other virgins returned, and they cried out, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ 12 But he replied,‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
14 The Parable of the Talents.[c]“Again, the kingdom of heaven will be like a man going on a journey who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents,[d] to another two talents, to a third one talent—to each according to his ability. Then he set forth on his journey.
16 “The servant who had received the five talents promptly went to invest them and gained five more. 17 In the same manner, the servant who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But the servant who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long period of time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing an additional five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you gave me five talents. Behold, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master said to him,‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Since you have been faithful in small matters, I will give you much greater responsibilities. Come and share your master’s joy.’
22 “Next, the one who had received the two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. Behold, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Since you have been faithful in small matters, I will give you much greater responsibilities. Come and share your master’s joy.’
24 “Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed. 25 Therefore, out of fear I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Behold, I give it back to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant. So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered! 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have gotten back my money with interest.
28 “ ‘Therefore, take the talent from him and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he does have will be taken away. 30 As for this worthless servant, cast him outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
31 The Solemn Judgment at the End of Time.[e]“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “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. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; 36 I was naked and you clothed me; I was ill and you took care of me; I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will say to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you something to eat, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison and come to visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brethren of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you did not give me anything to eat; I was thirsty and you did not give me anything to drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me; I was naked and you did not give me any clothing; I was ill and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44 “Then they will ask him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison and not minister to you?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you failed to do for one of the least of these brethren of mine, you failed to do for me.’ 46 And they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous will enter eternal life.”
- Matthew 25:1 The parable of the ten virgins illustrates a fundamental thought: we must wait with watchful perseverance for the coming of Christ glorified, likened to the arrival of a bridegroom. In the dazzling nuptial ceremony of Palestine, the bride awaited the bridegroom while merrymaking with friends. Around midnight the bridegroom would come accompanied by lamps. After an initial explosion of joy, the cortège would return to the house of the bridegroom, where the banquet would be celebrated.
- Matthew 25:1 Then: at the time of the Second Coming.
- Matthew 25:14 The parable of the talents completes the preceding one. The Christian religion is not a simple passive expectation. It demands a complete commitment. One must make fruitful the gifts given by God while awaiting the Lord’s glorious return.
- Matthew 25:15 Talents: a talent was equivalent to 6000 denarii, that is, to the salary for 6000 days of work.
- Matthew 25:31 This passage constitutes the conclusion of the eschatological discourse with the description of the Last Judgment. In the second part of the great discourse (Mt 24:37), the individual judgment was repeatedly indicated. Now there comes before us the supreme Judge, Jesus Christ in glory, who at the end of time will judge all peoples, without distinction between Jew and Gentile, and will separate the good from the wicked in accord with everyone’s works.