On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Holy Tuesday service and delivered his message at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian and member Dr. Kaloust Agopian were in attendance. Through Bible readings, Psalms, prayers, and hymns, the message to be ready at all times for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ was conveyed.
The Prelate delivered his message to the faithful and to the Sunday School students in particular who participated in the service representing the ten virgins from the Parable of the Ten Maidens. The theme of the Prelate’s sermon was the passage from the Holy Tuesday hymn, “May the lamps of our souls be illuminated so that we may too may be worthy of the Heavenly Feast.”
His Eminence briefly recounted the Parable of the Ten Maidens, which tells of the five wise virgins who had taken extra oil for their lamps and were thus able to greet the delayed bridegroom, while the five foolish virgins missed the opportunity to greet him as they had gone to purchase extra oil. How does one become wise, asked the Prelate, to which the Sunday School students answered by reading the Bible and praying. His Eminence added that though reading, studying the Bible, and praying are vital, to be wise and worthy of being in God’s presence we must open our hearts to Him, form a relationship with Him, be in communication with Him, and seek the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Referencing Palm Sunday, the Prelate noted that there were two groups of people in Jerusalem on that day. There were those who had heard of Jesus and His miracles, had lit the lamp of their spirits, and were there to praise Him and brighten their spirits, while those in the other group had also heard of Him but had closed their hearts to Him and were there to persecute Him. His Eminence urged all to be like the former, to open our hearts to Him and to be ready and awake at all times, for in the message of the Parable of the Ten Maidens, we do not know the day of His return.
The ten virgins were all pure and good, but only five became worthy of being in the presence of the bridegroom because they had extra oil, which symbolizes God’s grace, blessings, and wisdom, said the Prelate. It is not enough that we are baptized and christened, it is not enough to be good and do good; we are commanded to dedicate ourselves to God, to serve Him, be diligent in our duties as Christians, open our hearts to Him, and invite Him to dwell within us through the Holy Spirit, so that we may be worthy being in His presence like the five wise maidens.