The parable of the ten bridesmaids emphasizes the need for watchfulness. Christians are called to be spiritually prepared and to stay faithful until Christ returns as judge. Awaiting the bridegroom signifies one's uncertain life span - no one knows the hour of his/her death and judgment. The lamp is Christian faith, while the oil represents good works; thus faith without works is useless. We must prepare for our personal encounter with Christ by loving God and neighbour. Here is an extract from the Second Vatican Council on this crucially point of vigilance and fidelity:
'Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth' (Lumen Gentium, 48).