The whole symbolism of Holy Week is wrapped in Christ as Bridegroom imagery. The Bridegroom enters the bridal city, which is dressed to greet Him, waving palms and crying Hosanna. In His great love and Passion for her, He will pour Himself out, every last drop, witholding nothing, for her sake. Then He will both remain and return.
In the story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids, Jesus tells how His Kingdom will be. It is a wedding banquet in which the bride awaits her groom, who appears to be late. The wise bridesmaids each hold their lamp of faith, and keep it fueled, caring for it and making the required effort to keep the little flame alight, until he comes. The foolish girls, have better things to do, resting, being idle, rather than paying attention to the sputtering flame that dims and goes out.
The parable is pretty clear and straightforward, but even so, there are still some strong symbols. First, of course, is Jesus reiterating His role as the Bridegroom. Just as Adam was the first Bridegroom in the Garden-Temple, so Christ is the Second Adam, the Bridegroom whose new Covenant is the Church, His bride, symbolised in the Blessed Mother, the New Eve, who is not a birdesmaid, but the Bride.
Jusr as Mary is with Jesus, but sort of hidden, all through holy week, her presence only really being felt at the time of the Passion, she is like the bride who is veiled until, as the Bridegroom said from His cross “It is consumated.” He pours himself out for her, and she shares in all of it. Her suffering is joined to His.
This is the story from the Garden, where Satan’s malicious plan was to attack both the sacrificial priesthood of Adam and in so doing attacked marriage, the giving of the bridegroom to the bride for giving life. Adam’s sin, his refusal to suffer for his bride, is redeemed when both Christ the bridegroom and His mother the bride suffer to the enth degree for our sake. Then death is defeated and Satan looses after all.
When Jesus tells the parable of the ten bridesmaids, it is the Groom who comes late. The bride is there in the banquetting hall. She is ready. The bridesmaids are supposed to be her maids, so that they can assist her at the Wedding. Five, do as they should, keeping their lights lit, oil ready. But the other five are actually not just unprepared for the Groom, they have failed to serve the bride as her beloved would have them do. They have slept, sure that someone else will carry out the necessary tasks. Then at the last moment, they demand the others give to them, who have given nothing. They are not ready, because they don’t love.