Whenever we hear two groups being compared in the Gospels by Jesus, we know that He is inviting us to make a discernment for our own lives. We could be tempted to use the comparison to judge or condemn others, but if we interpret it in that way we only condemn ourselves. Ten virgins waiting for Christ. Ten who have consecrated themselves, who have renounced the life of indulgence in the pleasures of the flesh. Jesus is telling us that even among those who have pledged fidelity and taken measures to conform their lives to the coming Kingdom, half are wise and half are foolish. Wisdom for the Christian, as we saw in the first reading from St. Paul, is the Cross: precisely the opposite of what the world considers intelligent. Foolishness has to do, according to the Gospel, with not having any oil for the lamp. How can a lamp burn brightly without any oil? Where did the wise virgins get their oil?
Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
The foolishness of building a house on sand is obvious. Unfortunately, the foolishness of building one’s life on the realities of this passing world is not as obvious. The house that is built on sand may even look the same as the one built on rock: perhaps the same materials were used, the same architecture, the same floor-plan. While the weather is good, it doesn’t seem to matter that one is built on sand and the other rock. People can build their lives the same way: they may have the same jobs, the same clothes, the same friends/activities. If they do not build their lives on Christ, however, when the storms of life come they will be utterly decimated.