Matthew 24:42

Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Watch therefore, &c. That Isaiah , "think continually that death is certain, but the day of death uncertain. I say the same of the Day of Judgment, both that particular judgment which comes to every one at death, as well as the general Judgment, which shall take place at the end of the world. Wherefore prepare yourselves for both by giving heed to virtue and good works." For as S. Jerome saith (in Joel c. ii.), "That which shall happen to all in the Day of Judgment is fulfilled in each at the day of death." And S. Augustine (Epist80) says, "In whatsoever state a man"s last day shall find him, in the same state shall the world"s last day come upon him; because as the man dies, so shall he be judged. Therefore ought every Christian to watch, lest the coming of the Lord find him unprepared. But that day shall find unprepared the man whom the last day of his life now shall seize unprepared." Moreover, the reason why God wills that this day should be unknown to us Isaiah , that the uncerta...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Watch ye, therefore. That men might not be attentive for a time only, but preserve a continual vigilance, the Almighty conceals from them the hour of their dissolution: they ought therefore to be ever expecting it, and ever watchful. But to the eternal infamy of Christians be it said, much more diligence is used by the worldly wise for the preservation of their wealth, than by the former for the salvation of their immortal souls. Though they are fully aware that the Lord will come, and like a thief in the night, when they least expect him, they do not persevere watching, nor guard against the irreparable misfortune of quitting the present life without previous preparation. Therefore will the day come to the destruction of such as are reposed in sleep. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxviii. on S. Matt.) Of what importance is it then that we should be found watching, and properly attentive to the one thing necessary, the salvation of our immortal souls. For what will it avail us, if we have gai...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But his meaning is like this: If ordinary persons knew when they were going to die, they would surely be striving earnestly at that hour. In order therefore that they may strive, not at that hour only, he does not tell them the hour or day. He wants to keep them on their toes looking for it, that they may be always striving. This is why he made the end of each person’s life so uncertain. In this passage he openly implies that he himself is Lord. Nowhere before has he spoken of this so distinctly. But here he seems to me also to be putting to shame those who remain careless about his lordship. They take much more care about a thief taking their money than about their own soul. Those who care about their house and do not want their possessions stolen take measures against the thief. They watch; they are prepared for the thief. So it is with you. You do not know when he will come. But you know assuredly that he will come. If you do not continue to watch, you will not be ready on that day....

John Chrysostom

AD 407
After this again, that they may not ask about it, He added, Watch therefore, for you know not what hour your Lord does come. Matthew 24:42 He said not, I know not, but, ye know not. For when He had brought them well near to the very hour, and had placed them there, again He deters them from the inquiry, from a desire that they should be striving always. Therefore He says, Watch, showing that for the sake of this, He did not tell it.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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