Matthew 24:44

Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Ep. 199, 3: He said this “Watch,” not to those only who heard Him speak at the time, but to those who came after them, and to us, and to all who shall beafter us, until His second coming, for it touches all in a manner. That day comes to each one of us, when it comes to him to go out of the world, such ashe shall be judged, and therefore ought every Christian to watch that the Lord's coming may not find him unprepared; and he will be unprepared for the day of His coming, whom the last day of his life shall find unprepared. non occ.: Foolish are all they, who either profess to know the day of the end of the world, when it is to come, or even the end of their own life, which no one can know unless be is illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Ev., ii, 3: To watch is to keep the eyes open, and looking out for the true light, to do and to observe that which one believes, to cast away the darkness of sloth and negligence. Hom. in Ev., xiii, 5: Or, the thief breaks into the house through the neglect of the master of the house, when the spirit has slept upon its post of guard, and death has come in unawares into the dwelling house of our flesh, and finding the lord of the house sleeping, slays him; that is, the spirit, little providing for coming evils, is taken off unprepared, to punishment, by death. But if he had watched be would have been secure from the thief; that is, looking forward to the coming of the Judge, who takes our lives unawares, be would meet Him with penitence, and not perish impenitent. And the Lord would therefore have the last hour unknown, that it might always be in suspense, and that being unable to foresee it, we might never be unprepared for it.


AD 420
Having declared that “of that hour knoweth no man, but the Father only,” Heshews that it was not expedient for the Apostles to know, that being ignorant they might live in perpetual expectation of His coming, and thus concluding the whole, He says, “Watch therefore” And He does not say, ‘Because we know not,’ but “Because ye know not,” shewing that He Himself is not ignorant of the day of judgment. And by the instance of the master of the household, He teaches more plainly why He keeps secret the day of the consummation.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He would have them ever ready, and therefore He says, “Watch.”. In this He rebukes such as have less care for their souls, than they have of guarding their money against an expected thief.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
In order therefore that they may strive, not at that hour only, therefore He tells them not either the common hour, or the hour of each, desiring them to be ever looking for this, that they may be always striving. Wherefore He made the end of each man's life also uncertain. After this, He openly calls Himself Lord, having nowhere spoken so distinctly. But here He seems to me also to put to shame the careless, that not even as much care as they that expect a thief have taken for their money, not even this much do these take for their own soul. For they indeed, when they expect it, watch, and suffer none of the things in their house to be carried off; but you, although knowing that He will come, and come assuredly, continue not watching, says He, and ready so as not to be carried away hence unprepared. So that the day comes unto destruction for them that sleep. For as that man, if he had known, would have escaped, so also ye, if you be ready, escape free. Then, as He had fallen upo...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. He bids us to keep vigil and to be ready, that is, to have stored up beforehand deeds of virtue so that when the Lord comes asking for the things that He wants, we will have them to give. See how He did not say, "I know not what hour the thief cometh," but "ye know not." A "thief’ is what He names the end of the world as well as the death of each person. He also implies here that His coming will be in the night. Just as the thief comes unnoticed, so will My coming be; therefore, be not indolent, but sober and vigilant. For if we knew when our end would be, we would strive to please God only on that day. But since we do not know, we are always vigilant in the deeds of virtue.

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

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