The earnestness in the tone of today’s Psalm is extraordinary. It is one of those wholehearted expressions of a longing for God whose love is better than life. It is an invitation for our entire being, mind, body, and souls to pine for him as a dry weary land pines for water, recognizing that in the shadow of His wings we have everlasting joy. The ten virgins in today’s gospel, the wise and the foolish, show us two ways of waiting and longing for God. The wise virgins are praised for bringing their lamps and extra supply of oil while they waited for the arrival of the bridegroom. They were ready, so the arrival of the bridegroom did not catch them unaware. Their extra supply of oil meant that they did everything possible to make sure that they were admitted to the master’s banquet. They took no chances. The foolish virgins, on the contrary, came unprepared. They hoped that they could rely on other people to make up for their unpreparedness, but they found out at the last minute that certain things can never be borrowed. The virtues of kindness, generosity, empathy and love all count among those things that we each must acquire for ourselves. We are going to have to show how well we have excelled in those areas someday, and no one is going to lend them to us. It is a huge lesson in diligent and tireless laboring as we wait for the Lord whose coming will happen at an hour we do not expect. During this period of longing and waiting, like a deer that yearns for a running stream, Saint Paul reminds us that hope sustains us “For our hope is Him will never be in vain.” It is this hope that strengthens and assures us on our journey that we will unite with Him someday. It is that same hope that brings us our comfort and consolation, especially in this month as we commemorate our departed brethren. Hope assures us that if we do our part, living virtuously as we wait, we shall one day be reunited with our departed loved ones and with God in a joy that knows no end, Amen.