The Thoughtless Bridesmaids
"Then the Kingdom of Heaven may be likened to ten bridesmaids, who, having received their lamps, went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish, taking their lamps, took no oil with them; but the prudent ones took oil in their flasks along with their lamps. While, however, the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight a shout was raised, 'Now, the bridegroom comes: go out to meet him!' All those maidens thereupon got up, and trimmed their lamps. The foolish then said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil; because our lamps are going out.' But the prudent made reply, 'Lest there is not enough for us and for you, run rather to the shops and buy for yourselves. 'While, however, they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in to the wedding: and the door was shut. The other maidens afterwards came calling out, 'Sirl sir! open the door for us.' But his answer to them was, 'No; indeed I tell you that I do not know you.'
The Story of the Talents
"For it is like a man leaving his home, who called together his confidential servants, and entrusted them with his effects. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each in proportion to his abilities, and took his departure. Then the man who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and increased them into five talents more. And the receiver of the two likewise increased his into two more. But the man who had been entrusted with one went and dug a hole in the ground, and there hid his master's money.
"Now after a long time the master of those servants returned, and went through their accounts. And the one who had the five talents came bringing five talents beside, saying, 'Sir, you entrusted me with five talents; but look, I have increased them to five talents more!'
"'Well done, you good and faithful servant!' exclaimed the master in reply; 'you have been faithful over a little, so I will entrust you with much: share in your master's success!' ' 'Then the one who had accepted the two talents said, ' Sir, you deposited two talents with me; but see, I have gained with them two talents more.'
"Then the man who had accepted the single talent said, 'Knowing you, sir, to be an avaricious man, reaping where you had not sown, and raking up where you had not scattered; being afraid, I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is your own!'
"'You ungrateful idler!' said his master in reply to him. 'Granted that you knew I reaped where I had not sown, and raked up where I had not scattered: you ought, then, to have paid my money into the bankers; and on my return I could have got my own with interest. Now take from him that talent, and give it to the man who has the ten talents. For to the man who possesses much shall be given, and he shall have superabundance; but from him who possesses not, even what he has shall be taken from him.' And he flung the good-or-nothing fellow into the darkness without, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth!
The Reckoning Day
"But when the Son of Man appears in His majesty, and all His angels with Him, then He will take His seat upon the throne of His majesty; and collect all nations before Himself; and will separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats: and the sheep He will place upon His right hand, and the goats upon His left. The King will then say to those upon His right hand, 'Come! you approved of 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 a drink; I was a stranger, and you entertained Me; naked, and you clothed Me; I was exhausted, and you attended Me; I was in prison, and you visited Me.'
"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'When, Master, did we see You starving, and fed You? or thirsty, and gave You a drink? When did we see You a stranger, and entertained You? or naked, and clothed You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You? '
"And their King will reply to them, 'I tell you indeed, that whenever you did it to one of these My poorest friends, you even did it to Me.'
"Then He will say to those upon the left, 'Begone from Me, you accursed, into enduring fire, which is prepared for the Devil and for his angels I for I was starving, 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 enter tain Me; naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
"Then they too will answer, saying, 'When, Master, did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or forlorn, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not help You?'
"In reply to them He will then say, 'I tell you indeed, that since you never did it to one of the least of these, you never did it to Me.'
"And these He will dismiss into a long correction, but the well-doers to an enduring life."
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 01-02-2015