People asked Jesus, “What must we do to be saved?” We can see four parts to the answer to that question. Our readings today give us two parts of it. The first is that we must keep the Commandments. The second, as the Gospel tells us, is that we must tend to the needs of our fellow men.
What are the other two parts? They appear in Chapter Twenty Five of Matthew’s Gospel just before today’s reading.
Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter Twenty Five, verses one to thirteen, in giving us Our Lord’s parable of the ten virgins, supplies us with the third necessity. In that parable the five foolish virgins who had no oil for their lamps were locked out of the banquet. We will be like them if at the hour of our deaths we lack the oil for our lamps, which is love of God in our hearts -- the state of grace.
Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter Twenty-Five, verses fourteen to thirty gives us the fourth necessity in the parable of the talents. One servant made no use of his God-given talents. In the end the king said, “Throw this useless servant into the darkness outside.”