Today's Gospel reading was about the 10 virgins waiting for the Bridegroom (Jesus) to come (Matthew 25:1-13). The scene of the gospel was apparently a common scene in Jesus day on earth. The bridegroom would possibly play tricks on the bride and attendants by showing up at an odd time. So, while 5 attendants had lamps and oil, five only had lamps, and ran out of oil before the bridegroom arrived, and their lack of preparedness and diligence was to their eternal sorrow.
To start his homily, father John told this story about the devil.
The devil was about to send three newly trained devil apprentices to earth to test our their skills, and so he met with them prior to their starting this assignment.
He asked the first one what he planned to do on earth. He said, he was going to tell everyone he could that there was no God.
Satan smiled at him, and told him that that would get a few, but that most over time know from their heart that there is a God, and so as a strategy, it would not be very productive.
When he queried the second one, his response was that he planned on telling everyone he could that there was no hell.
Again, the devil was amused but told him that the people on earth knew in their hearts that there was a hell, and so he might have minor success, but that it was not a very effective plan.
When he asked the third demon what he planned, his response was chilling. He said that he was going to tell everyone on earth, that there was no hurry.
The Gospel tells us to stand guard, be vigilant and prepared. The devil tells us there is no hurry.
Who are you going to believe?