The key verse in these readings is 1 Thessalonians 5:3. “When people are saying, `Peace and security,’ then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
By pointing out that no one escapes,
“Peace and security” is a false peace and false security, resulting from lack of the use of talents, from lack of thought. All seems well, except for those complaining about injustice, such as the injustice of sexism. All seems well, except for those unwilling to accept emotional immaturity as an excuse for kindness and gentleness. In a word, all seems peace and security except for those objecting to the status quo. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes that no one escapes objecting to the status quo.
Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
verses 13-14: She obtains wool and flax and works with loving hands. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.
are among the most objectionable sexist verses in the Bible. Of all people,
verse 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table.
These verses are also objectionable because sexist, as above.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
verse 3 When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
Maturity is accepting one’s own limitations without disparaging one’s own abilities. Gospel maturity is accepting the fact that the ability to love God is God’s gift, a gift properly exercised within one’s own station in life, whether in this life or the next. Church administrators like the idea of pray, pay, and obey for the Faithful. So long as church administrators love the Faithful, that approach works. Under the same conditions, the same approach works for both church and state. The French Revolution came because of distrust of royal government officials. The institutional church has stayed on the side of royalty, never encouraging the Faithful to think outside of the teaching magisterium. As we know from the case of Galileo, sometimes that magisterium can err.
A scholar explains the maturity of the Cross.
For an understanding of the further meaning of “God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation” in 1 Thess 5:9ab and “(that) we might live together with him” in v. 10b, it is not insignificant that these two interconnected benefits of Christ’s death come at the end of the paraenesis [exhortation, advice] of 5:1-8. Paul’s admonitions in this section span a wide arch from the coming day of the Lord (vv. 1-2) all the way to the present circumstances of his readers (vv. 3-8). By making use of the image of a thief in the night in vv. 1-2, he is able to turn the expectation of the Lord’s coming, which lies on a temporal plane in the future, into an existential challenge to his readers in the present in vv. 3-8.
verses 1-2 Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.
verses 4-6 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.
Alert and sober
means thoughtful. Thief means disasters of life. For
The scholar continues.
Finally, the paraenetic context of the christological statements (vv. 9-10), in which Paul expresses how he expects his readers to live their lives in Christ in the face of the coming end (vv. 1-8 and 11), shows that his paraenesis is the final, most concrete level of the meaning of Christ in the passage.
Next Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, is the final, apocalyptical Sunday of the liturgical year. What a penult to end the year, an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world note on feminism. December 1 is the First Sunday of Advent.
verse 4a, 5b Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me bears much fruit.
verse 25 … so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
To give talent its
more ordinary meaning, the greatest human talent is the ability to think. Under holy obedience, that talent can be
suppressed, but more often than not, when that talent is not used, the reason
is fear of the consequences. Such lack
of use is what is irritating
verse 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
In this passage,
We can learn how
In the Magnificat ® Day-by-Day
readings for this Sunday,
When the parish Faithful was invited to respond to the
From Heart of the World,
 Hendrikus Boers, “The Structure and meaning of Romans 6:1-14," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 4 (October 2001), pages 673.
 Paraenesis is not in the dictionary, but paranesis is, with the definition as given above. Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language: unabridged: second edition: based upon the broad foundations laid down by Noah Webster: extensively revised by the publisher editorial staff under the general supervision of Jean L. McKechnie: including etymologies, full pronunciations, synonyms, and an encyclopedic supplement of geographical and biographical data, scripture proper names, foreign words and phrases, practical business mathematics, abbreviations tables of weights and measures, signs and symbols, and forms of address: illustrated throughout (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979), page 1302
 Hendrikus Boers, “The Structure and meaning of Romans 6:1-14," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 4 (October 2001), pages 674.
 Henry Wansbrough, General Editor, The New Jerusalem Bible (New York: Doubleday, 1985).
From Heart of the World,