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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Like A Thief in the Night

Submitted by on Tuesday, 30 August 2011No Comment

likeathiefinthenight

Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.9-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 4:31-37

The Lord’s Coming

The reading from 1 Thessalonians 5 is on the topic of the Lord’s coming. The Thessalonians already heard the instruction that the Lord’s coming is going to be sudden — like that of a thief in the night. When people begin to be complacent and distracted from their vigil, then that coming will be experienced as a disaster.

The Thessalonians should keep awake because they are children of the light, not of the darkness.

Those who sleep,go to sleep at night
and those who are drunk, get drunk at night.

The children of the light, those who belong to the day should put on faith, hope and love. Note that Paul’s "tria haec" are mentioned here as parts of an armor — the protective covering of soldiers in battle. In the beginning of his thanksgiving, Paul described the Thessalonians as having these three qualities: "your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 1:3). See this similar passage from Ephesians about wearing “the Christian armour”.

In v.6 "sleep" has the meaning of lack of faith or sin; in v. 10 "sleep" has a different meaning, that of having died in Christ. For this latter meaning, see 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, where Paul instructs the Thessalonians about what happens at the Lord’s advent in response to the community’s queries regarding those who have died and therefore would not see the Lord when He does come.

The Holy One of God

In the Gospel of Luke, we find Jesus in a synagogue in Capernaum exorcising a demon after commenting on the synagogal reading. The demon calls him "the Holy One of God". That title explains what Jesus would be doing in his ministry: wherever He goes, demons and the evils afflicting men and women will be overcome by His presence.

This episode leaves a question in the minds of those who saw it. It is a question that the evangelist Luke will unravel as we go on with our lectio cursiva of the third Gospel.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV Vulg Greek
1But of the times and moments, brethren, you need not, that we should write to you;
2For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord shall so come, as a thief in the night.
3For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape.
4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5For all you are the children of light, and children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch, and be sober.
Luke 4:31-37
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
31And he went down into Capharnaum, a city of Galilee, and there he taught them on the sabbath days.
32And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his speech was with power.
33And in the synagogue there was a man who had an unclean devil, and he cried out with a loud voice,
34Saying: Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the holy one of God.
35And Jesus rebuked him, saying: Hold thy peace, and go out of him. And when the devil had thrown him into the midst, he went out of him, and hurt him not at all.
36And there came fear upon all, and they talked among themselves, saying: What word is this, for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they go out?
37And the fame of him was published into every place of the country.
1 Thessalonians 1:3
View in: NAB NIV KJV Vulg Greek
3Being mindful of the work of your faith, and labour, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father:
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
View in: NAB NIV KJV Vulg Greek
14For this we say unto you in the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them who have slept.
15For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead who are in Christ, shall rise first.
16Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord.
17Wherefore, comfort ye one another with these words.

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