Voices ever ancient, ever new. Sunday-AdventOne-2013.

“So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (Matthew 24:44)

In an ancient work known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew, an anonymous ancient Christian writer offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“Why is the date of an individual’s death hidden from him? Clearly it is so that he might always do good, since he can expect to die at any moment. The date of Christ’s second advent is withheld from the world for the same reason, namely, so that every generation might live in the expectation of Christ’s return. This is why when his disciples asked him, “Lord, will you restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?” Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons which the Father has established by his authority.” “But know this, that if the head of the household had known the hour at which the thief would arrive, he would have been vigilant and would never have allowed his house to be burglarized.” The head of the household represents the human soul, the thief is the devil, the house is the body, the doors are the mouth and ears and the windows are the eyes. Like the thief who gains access through the doors and windows to despoil the householder, the devil also finds easy access to the soul of a man through his mouth, ears and eyes to take him captive. This is why Jeremiah wrote, “For death entered through our windows.” If you wish to be secure, install a bolt on your door, which is to say, put the law of the fear of God in your mouth so that you can say with the psalmist, “I will guard my ways that I might not sin with my tongue. I will put a guard at my mouth.” (Homily 51)

Grant your faithful, we pray,
Almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet Your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming, so that,
gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!