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An Exposition Of The Gospels by The Most Rev. John Macevilly D.D.

1–14. (See Matt. 24:1–14; also Matt. 10:17–22).

14–24. (See Matt. 24:15–29).

24–32. (See Matt. 24:29–36).

33. (See Matt. 24:42).

Watch and pray.” Our Redeemer stimulates us to constant vigilance. As, however, all our vigilance would be of no avail without the aid of Divine grace, hence, He prescribes “prayer,” the condition which God ordinarily requires for bestowing His grace onus. “Ask, and you shall receive.” Hence, if we ask not, we will not receive. Our Lord assigns the reason why we should always watch and pray; because, “we know not when the time is.”

34. “Even as a man who going into a far country, left his house;” that is to say, the same thing shall happen in reference to My coming, or, the kingdom of heaven, that occurs in the case of a man, “who, going into a far country,” assigns to his servants these different posts, their several ministrations and duties in the house, but above all, gives instructions “to the porter to watch.” The example applies very clearly to our Lord, who, ascending into heaven, gave the charge of “His house” the Church of the living God, to her chief governors, and gave the porter who holds the keys, His own visible Vicar, special charge over the concerns of all. This applies in a subordinate degree, to all the rulers of the Church, and also is meant to admonish every member of His Church to discharge faithfully, with an eye to future judgment, which may arrive when they are least prepared for it, the different duties marked out for them in the several spheres and positions in the Church.

35. “Watch ye therefore,” &c. “The Lord of the home,” is our Redeemer Himself. The different periods or stages of night denotes the different stages of life. “The morning” of life, boyhood; “cock-crow,” in youth; “midnight,” manhood; “even,” old age. And our Lord represents the different periods of life, under the image or symbol of night and darkness, in comparison with the shining and never-fading day of eternity.

36. They should be always ready, “lost coming on a sudden,” unexpectedly, He may find them unprepared to give a satisfactory account of their employments at judgment. Possibly, they might be surprised in sin, and while indulging in the wicked passions, and in the prohibited works of darkness.

37. What He said is not merely intended for those He was then addressing. It concerns “all,” every generation of men till the end of the world. The first coming of our Lord to judgment virtually takes place at the death of each one. As each one is then found, and then judged, will he be judged at the last day, and his doom inevitably sealed for all eternity (St. Augustine, Ep. 80 ad Hesychium).








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