“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish [thoughtless, silly, and careless], and five were wise [far-sighted, practical, and sensible]. For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delayed, they all began to nod off, and they fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! The bridegroom [is coming]! Go out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order [trimmed the wicks and added oil and lit them]. But the foolish virgins said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No, otherwise there will not be enough for us and for you, too; go instead to the dealers and buy oil for yourselves.’ But while they were going away to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut and locked. Later the others also came, and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open [the door] for us.’ But He replied, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I do not know you [we have no relationship].’ Therefore, be on the alert [be prepared and ready], for you do not know the day nor the hour [when the Son of Man will come].
“For it is just like a man who was about to take a journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his possessions. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and then he went on his journey. The one who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he [made a profit and] gained five more. Likewise the one who had two [made a profit and] gained two more. But the one who had received the one went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
“Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. And the one who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted to me five talents. See, I have [made a profit and] gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’
“Also the one who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have [made a profit and] gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’
“The one who had received one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a harsh and demanding man, reaping [the harvest] where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter seed. So I was afraid [to lose the talent], and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is your own.’
“But his master answered him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant, you knew that I reap [the harvest] where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter seed. Then you ought to have put my money with the bankers, and at my return I would have received my money back with interest. So take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
“For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away. And throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place [of grief and torment] there will be weeping [over sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [over distress and anger].