In practice, [Saint Alphonsus Maria
di] Liguori [1696-1787] also insists that we have the moral obligation to try
to overcome doubt and ignorance. Charity demands that we search for the truth,
and God’s justice guarantees that we are able to do that by the light of
natural reason. —
The great moral theologian, Saint Alphonsus, obligates the Faithful away from a “pay, pray, and obey” mentality toward an obligation of forming their own consciences. In other words, the Faithful are obligated to the intellectual life. As Psalm 63:3 puts it, Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory.
Psalm 63, as well as the readings from 1 Thessalonians
Wisdom proclaims that wisdom hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their [those who seek her] desire. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Saint Paul observes we shall always be with the Lord. That is Wisdom, making herself known to the individual consciences of the Faithful. Saint Alphonsus teaches that once wisdom is found by way of individual conscience formation, wisdom is to be followed.
Wisdom is also relevant to 1 Thessalonians that the Lectionary translates who are left until the coming of the Lord. Anticipation and coming are the same Greek word. Anticipation is an occasional translation of the Greek in the Greek Septuagint, where it regularly means to come. Paul is equating the anticipation of Wisdom with the arrival of Jesus.
What would Jesus do, thereby, becomes a reasonable query.
1 Thessalonians involves the intellectual life trying to understand the nature of time, an intellectual venture in itself. After finishing the explanation, 1 Thessalonians 4:17 concludes, we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 treats the process set under way with the death and resurrection of Jesus as present and experienced, the exact meaning of which is difficult to understand by Americans in the United States.
At a more basic level, eleven markers of textual difficulty appear in the best composite Greek text available. These markers call for the intellectual life in order to accept the Word of God. The notion and nature of time as found in Holy Scripture also demands intellectual life.
Philosophically, time is a measure of motion. In the ancient Middle East, when Jesus and the Thessalonians lived, this time was either imaginary or experienced. Imaginary time was either past or future, beyond what any living witness experienced. Imaginary time also included what did not actually exist. This division between imaginary and experienced time details what is difficult for those in the United States to comprehend. Negative or circumstantial evidence brings out the difficulty.
The New Testament mentions this age and the age to come,
but nothing of ages or generations to come. Only in 525, did Dionysius Exiguus propose
counting time from the birth of Jesus, i.e. the year of the Lord, or
For the ancients, time was either experienced now or imaginary. There was no tension in ancient times between the “already but not yet” that grinds upon moderns. In this way, when someone in the United States prays to live only in the present, without learning from experience, that prayer is a type of self-centered naval gazing.
For those in the
People in northern
In 1 Thessalonians,
The intellectual life in the contemporary world requires some consideration of feminism. Matthew 25;1-12 is one of ten New Testament accounts in which women are central. Eight are in Luke: 7:11-17, 36-50; 8:1-3; 10:38-42; 11:27-28; 13:10-17; 20-21; 23:27-31. Also, see Luke 4:25-26. Luke 30-21 corresponds to Matthew 13:33 and probably the Q document that scholars think Mark also relied upon. Through Matthew and Luke, all of Christianity is trying to deal with its own sexism. That requires continuing careful thought.
In the readings for this Sunday, the Gospel of Matthew,
about the wise and foolish virgins, is about the requirement of the
intellectual life for prudence.
A judge, on the other hand is not particularly ether happy or friendly. His thoughts are not about entering a new life. Nor is a judge expanding the family. Rather a judge cuts offenders away from family. Matthew and Luke exemplify different results in their intellectual lives. The Faithful should expect similarly different results.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17,
As Wisdom and 15 put it, “Resplendent and unfading is wisdom…For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence.” Matthew illustrates taking thought of wisdom. In relating the parable of the virgins, Matthew describes the life of Jesus from his perspective. Perhaps Matthew was an old Jewish rabbi, dedicated to studying the Word of God in Sacred Scripture, trying to bring his Pharisee brothers into Christianity. In this, Matthew is like those in the Black Apostolate, trying to reach out to racists, for the Gospel of Matthew teaches that the Church is composed of many different kinds of people (Matthew 13:47-50; 25:1-13, 14-30).
For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes.
 N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 220, 225, 232, 252, 309.
Murray Baker, “