Be Prepared I am not very patient when it comes to delays. I avoid certain stores where I know checkout lanes are always insufferably long. I am anxious in Doctors’ offices if I have to wait more than 30 minutes. And I dread seeing “delayed” behind scheduled flights at the airport! Delays annoy me because I perceive them as costing me precious time, they catch me off guard with nothing productive to do or they keep me from meeting other deadlines. Our annoyance with delays teaches us how much we live in the here and now and how precious time is to us. This Sunday’s Gospel challenges us to look with longer vision-there is more to the present than the present. We are to become aware that every detail of what we are doing now is part of life’s journey toward the future where we meet our Bridegroom. Five wise virgins can well afford to sleep for they are prepared for the long delay. Jesus warns us that the here and now is an important readying for his second coming.The question for us, then, how do we deal with the delay? Matthew is suggesting that we are to be prepared. We are living in a crucial time of spending our lives being open to Christ’s comings in the here and now. We must actively seek our bridegroom and have the long-range vision that sees Christ seeking us.