Notes & Commentary:
After the fatigues of preaching and teaching, Jesus towards evening left the temple, as it is in the Greek, eporeueto
apo tou ierou, and went towards Mount Olivet, where he was accustomed to spend his nights, as we learn from St. Luke,
chap. xxi. ver. 37. (Jansenius) --- His disciples came to shew him the buildings, not moved by curiosity, for they
had seen them frequently before, but by pity; because he had on a former occasion, and only just before in Jerusalem, threatened
the destruction of the temple and city, hoping that the splendour and magnificence of so fine a structure, consecrated to
God, might alter his determination, as St. Hilary observes. But the anger of God, provoked by sins, is not to be appeased
with stones and buildings. He therefore answered them: (Jansenius)
Ver. 2. Do
you see all these things? Examine again and again all this magnificence, that the sentence of heaven may appear more striking.
--- A stone upon a stone. We need not look on this as an hyperbole. The temple burnt by the Romans, and afterwards
even ploughed up. See Gregory of Nazianzus, orat. ii. cont. Julianum; Theodoret, lib. iii. Histor. chap. xx. &c. (Witham)
--- Julian the apostate, wishing to falsify the predictions of Daniel and of Jesus Christ, attempted to rebuild the temple.
For this purpose, he assembled the chief among the Jews, and asking them why they neglected the prescribed sacrifices, was
answered, that they could not offer any where else but in the temple of Jerusalem. Upon this he ordered them to repair to
Jerusalem, to rebuild their temple, and restore their ancient worship, promising them his concurrence in carrying on the work.
This filled the Jews with inexpressible joy. Hence flocking to Jerusalem, they began with scorn and triumph to insult over
the Christians. Contributions came in from all parts. The Jewish women stripped themselves of their most costly ornaments.
The emperor opened his treasures to furnish every thing necessary for the building. The most able workmen were convened from
all parts; persons of the greatest distinction were appointed to direct the work; and the emperor's friend, Alipius, was set
over the whole, with orders to carry on the work without ceasing, and to spare no expense. All materials were laid in to an
immense quantity. The Jews of both sexes bore a share in the labour; the women helping to dig the ground, and carry away the
rubbish in their aprons and gowns. It is even said that the Jews appointed some pick-axes, spades, and baskets, to be made
of silver, for the honour of the work. Till this time the foundations and some ruins of the walls had remained, as appears
from St. Cyril, in his catechism xv. n. 15, and Eusebius, Dem. Evang. lib. viii. p. 406. These ruins the Jews first demolished
with their own hands, thus concurring to the accomplishment of our Saviour's prediction. They next began to dig a new foundation,
in which many thousands were employed. But what they had thrown up in the day, was, by repeated earthquakes, the night following
cast back again into the trench. When Alipius the next day was earnestly pressing on the work, with the assistance of the
governor of the province, there issued, says Ammianus Marcellinus, such horrible balls of fire out of the earth near the foundations,
as to render the place inaccessible from time to time to the scorched workmen. And the victorious element continuing in this
manner obstinately bent, as it were, to drive them to a distance, Alipius, thought proper to abandon, though reluctantly,
the enterprise. This great event happened in the beginning of the year 363, and with many very astonishing circumstances is
recorded both by Jews and Christians. See the proofs and a much fuller account of this astonishing event, which all the ancient
fathers describe as indubitable, in Alban Butler's life of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, March 18th. Thus they so completely destroyed
whatever remained of the ancient temple, that there was not left one stone upon another; nor were they permitted by heaven
even to begin the new one. (Maldonatus)
Ver. 3. Tell
us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world? We
must take good notice with St. Jerome, that three questions are here joined together. 1. Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem;
2. of the coming of Christ; 3. of the end of the world. Christ's answers and predictions in this chapter, are to be expounded
with a reference to the three questions. This hath not been considered by those interpreters; who expound every thing here
spoken by Christ of the destruction of Jerusalem; nor by others, who will have all understood of his coming to judgment, and
of the end of the world. (Witham) --- It is probable the apostles themselves did not understand that they were asking about
two distinct events. Being filled with the idea of a temporal kingdom, they thought that Christ's second coming would take
place soon; and that Jerusalem, once destroyed, the Messias would begin his reign on earth.
Ver. 4. And
Jesus answering. Various are the interpretations given here. Some will have it refer to the destruction of Jerusalem,
which took place, A.D. 70; and others, to the end of the world. That of St. Chrysostom seems to be very conformable to the
context, and is followed by many. He explains all, to the 23d verse exclusively, of what shall precede the destruction of
Jerusalem; nor is there any circumstance which cannot easily be referred to that event, as will appear from a careful and
attentive observation of the history of the Jews, and of the Church at that time, in the writings of Josephus and Eusebius.
Even the preaching of the gospel to the whole world, which seems to favour the contrary explanation, is by the same father
said to have taken place before the destruction of Jerusalem. St. Paul tells the Colossians, that even in his time the faith
was spread all over the world. The abomination of desolation may be explained of the Roman soldiery, or, of the seditious
zealots, who, by their murders and other atrocities, polluted the temple. See Josephus, b. 4. and 5. of the Jewish war. As
deicide was a crime peculiar to the Jews and exceeded every other crime, their punishment was severe above measure. Had the
Almighty punished them to the full of what they had deserved, not one of the Jews would have escaped. But as he formerly would
have spared Sodom and Gomorrha, had there been found therein ten just men to avert the impending ruin; so shall these days
of affliction be shortened for the sake of some who believe. The verses subsequent to the 22d, are explained by St. Chrysostom
of the second coming of Christ, previous to the general judgment. (Jansenius) --- Such as wish for a more particular explanation
of every thing preceding the 23d verse, how it applies to the Jews, may consult the concordance of Jansenius, who thus concludes
his observations: "Hitherto we have explained all things of the destruction of Jerusalem, which prophecies, though they principally
regarded the times of the apostles, may be of use to us in two ways. 1. It will confirm our faith, when we see clearly fulfilled
whatever was distinctly foretold of this people; and may serve to increase our fears, when we reflect, that what is immediately
added concerning the day of judgment, shall be fulfilled with the same rigorous exactitude and certainty. It is another effect
of divine Providence for the increase of our faith, that this prophecy, which was to take place with regard to Jerusalem,
is not mentioned by St. John, who lived long enough to see it accomplished, but by the other evangelists, who died long before
the event. 2. It should animate us in the practice of virtue, and gratitude to reflect, that whatever tribulations happen
to the Church, or throughout the earth, all co-operate to the advantage of the elect. Such as will be good, have nothing to
Ver. 5. For
many will come. One of these was Simon Magus, who in the Acts (chap. viii. ver. 10.) is mentioned as calling himself the
power of God; hence the apostle St. John (1 John ii. 18,) says, and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now
there are become many Antichrists. By Antichrists I understand heretics, who, under the name of Christ, teach doctrines
different from Christ; neither is there any reason for us to be surprised, if many be seduced, since our Lord declares that
many will be seduced. (St. Jerome) ... This alone will be sufficient for us to know the false doctrines taught by Antichrist,
when they assure us that they are Christ; for we do not read in any part that Christ said so of himself. The miracles he performed,
the doctrines he taught, and the virtues he on every occasion exhibited, were proofs sufficient to convince us that he was
the Christ. There is need of the assistance of God to overcome the snares laid for us by hypocrisy. (Origen) --- Among these
impostors were one Theodas, (Acts v. 36,) the impious Egyptian, (Acts xxi. 38,) Judas of Galilee, Menander, and several others
who preceded the destruction of Jerusalem; but many more will precede the destruction of the world. This therefore is the
first sign, the seduction of many souls from the true faith by heresies, and is common to both events. (Jansenius)
--- See much more in Barradius, tom. iii. lib. 9, chap. 2, where he collects various illustrations from Josephus and profane
Ver. 6. Shall
hear of wars. Most authors understand this second sign of the Jewish wars which preceded the ruin of Jerusalem;
others of the wars of Antichrist, previous to the end of the world. Both are very probable. The first is proved from history,
and from the events; the latter, from what we learn from the Apocalypse, will certainly happen. (Menochius) --- These things
must happen, as is said of scandals and heresies, not absolutely, but considering the malice of man, and the decree of God,
by which he had determined to punish the Jews. (Maldonatus)
Ver. 7. And
there shall be, according to the proverb, loimos meta limon, plague after famine, both natural daughters
of war, with intestine divisions, earthquakes, and other calamities; the third sign. ... As the bodies of men generally
grow weak and faint previously to dissolution, so will it be with the earth before the destruction of the world; so that this
inferior globe will be shaken with unusual convulsions, as if making its last effort for existence. The air filled with destructive
vapours will turn to the ruin of men, and the earth exhausted of its natural fertility, will refuse its accustomed support
to the sons of Adam. Hence will arise wars and famines, insurrections, rebellions, and mobs; some driven on by famine and
want, others by ambition and avarice. But if the corrupted heart of man shall refuse to depart from its evil ways, these calamities
shall be increased; for all these are only the beginnings of more dreadful sorrows. (Origen)
Ver. 9. Then
shall they deliver you up, &c. The fourth sign, common to both these events, shall be the persecution raised
against the Church, which will be two-fold; it will regard both body and soul. See Luke xxi. 12; Mark xiii. 9. All this happened
to the apostles previously to the siege of Jerusalem, as well as to the martyrs in subsequent times. A similar persecution,
attended probably with additional severity, will most probably be the lot of the faithful during the reign of Antichrist.
The calamities, bloodshed, and utter ruin which took place at the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, are a figure
of the still more dreadful calamities, bloodshed, and ruin to be expected towards the end of the world; and which should be
frequently present to our minds. The late learned and venerable prelate Walmesly admonishes all parents to stand
prepared for the bloody trial themselves, and to teach their children to be ever ready to meet, with Christian resignation,
the awful and approaching event; for the rest of the world, as we learn from revelation, will be taken by surprise, as the
people at the deluge. Yes, this last may literally be styled a bloody trial; for the Church, which was purified with blood,
began in blood, increased in blood, and will end in blood.
Sanguine mundata est ecclesia, sanguine cœpit,
Sanguine succrevit, sanguine finis erit.
The last chapter of the Apocalypse, which is the last communication of
the divine will to man, is deserving our frequent and very attentive perusal. In it Jesus Christ, by his repeated warnings,
wishes to awaken us to a sense of that day of general retribution, saying: surely I come quickly: behold I come quickly:
and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works. (Behold the merit of good works proceeding from
faith and charity.) With what earnestness have the servants of God, in every age, prayed with St. John: (Apocalypse xxii.
20.) Come, Lord Jesus; come, put a final end to the reign of sin and Satan; come, admit thy elect, who have been purified
in the waters of the great persecution, and in the blood of the Lamb, to thy heavenly bosom; to that happy sanctuary and asylum,
where no hunger or thirst, no scorching heat of the sun, no fiery temptation will any more reach or molest them; where the
sigh and the groan will not be heard; where all tears will be wiped away from every eye, and where they will be inebriated
at the torrent of immortal delights, and will see and enjoy the Lord Jesus, without any apprehension of offending him, for
ever and ever. (Haydock)
And many false prophets shall rise, like those lying teachers mentioned by St. Peter, (2nd Peter chap. ii. ver.
1) who shall bring in sects of perdition, (i.e. heresies destructive of salvation) bringing upon themselves swift
Ver. 12. And
because iniquity hath (literally, shall) abounded, shall arrive at its height, the charity of many, carried
away by the force of bad example, will grow cold; and scarcely, even among Christians, will a person be found willing to assist
Christians, lest he may be known for a Christian. Of this we have an example, 2 Timothy iv. 16, At my first answer, no
man stood with me, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their charge; but the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me.
Ver. 13. But
he that shall persevere to the end, in the midst of this trying and afflicting scene, in faith and charity,
(or as it is in the Greek; he that shall preserve his patience to the end, o upomeinas, proof against heresies,
persecutions, hatreds, or scandals) shall be saved. To perseverance alone this promise is made; for, non quæruntur
in Christianis initia sed finis. (Tertullian) A part of this prediction was, beyond all doubt, accomplished
with regard to the faithful, in the first persecutions raised by the Jews against the infant Christian Church; but the entire
and literal completion of it is reserved for the latter times.
Ver. 14. This
gospel ... shall be preached in the whole world, to serve as a testimony to all nations, of the solicitude of heaven in
having the doctrine of salvation announced to them. This then is a fifth sign, and not till then shall the consummation
come. --- And then shall the consummation come. The end of the world, says St. Jerome. The destruction of Jerusalem,
says St. Chrysostom and others. (Witham) --- If the final destruction of Jerusalem be here meant, the gospel had been preached
throughout the major part of the then known world. See Romans x. and Colossians i. 6, 23. If the end of the world, there is
the greatest probability that the true faith will have been announced to every part of the globe, before that period.
Ver. 15. The
abomination of desolation was first partly fulfilled by divers profanations of the temple, as when the image of Cæsar
was set up in the temple by Pilate, and Adrian's statue in the holy of holies, and when the sacrifices were taken away; but
will be more completely fulfilled by Antichrist and his precursors, when they shall attempt to abolish the holy sacrifice
of the mass. St. Hyppolitus, in his treatise de Anti-Christo, mentioned by Eusebius, St. Jerome, and Photius, thus
writeth: "The churches shall lament with great lamentations, because there shall neither be made oblations, nor incense, nor
worship grateful to God. ... In those days the liturgy (or mass) shall be neglected, the psalmody shall cease, the reciting
of Scripture shall not be heard." --- The prophet Daniel (xii. 11.) calculates the reign of Antichrist, from the time that
the daily sacrifice shall be taken away; which, by able commentators, is understood of the sacrifice of the mass, which
Antichrist will endeavour to suppress. --- The abomination of desolation, or the abominable desolation. Instead
of these words, we read in St. Luke, (xxi. 20.) When you shall see Jerusalem surrounded by an army. Christ said both
the one and the other. But the words in St. Luke, seem rather to give us a sign of the ruin of Jerusalem, than of the end
of the world. --- Spoken of by Daniel, the prophet. The sense is, when you shall see that very prophecy of Daniel literally
fulfilled hereafter. What follows in the prophecy of Daniel, confirms this exposition; when the prophet adds, that the desolation
shall continue to the end; that the Jews from that time, shall be no more the people of God, for denying their Messias;
and that they shall put the Christ to death. But what then was this desolation, which by the following verse, was to
be a sign to the Christians to fly out of Judea? Some expound it of the heathen Roman army, approaching and investing
Jerusalem, called the holy city. Others understand the profanation of the temple, made by the Jews themselves, a little
before the siege under Vespasian; when the civil dissensions, those called the Zealots, had possessed themselves of
the temple, and placed their warlike engines upon the pinnacles; and a part, at least, of the temple was defiled with the
dead bodies of those killed there. It was at that time that the Christians, according to Christ's admonition, left Jerusalem
and Judea, and fled to Pella, beyond the river Jordan. See Eusebius, lib. iii. Hist. chap. v. (Witham)
Ver. 16. Then
let those. It is well known that this prophecy was verified to the letter, in the destruction of Jerusalem. For, as the
Roman army advanced, all the Christians who were in the province, forewarned by divine admonition, retired to a distance,
and crossing the Jordan, took refuge in the city of Pella, situated in Trachonitis, and became subjects of king Agrippa, who
was in amity with the Romans. (St. Remigius)
Ver. 17. Not
come down, into the house. They had no occasion, as Mauduit and others seem to suppose, to throw themselves from the roof,
for the Jews had usually stairs on the outside of their houses. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 20. In
the winter: an inconvenient season for flying away. --- Or on the sabbath, when it was lawful to travel only about
a mile. (Witham) --- Pray to God that you may be enabled to escape those evils, and that there may be no impediment to your
flight. (Estius, in different location)
Ver. 22. No
flesh: a Hebraism for no person; denoting that no one would have escaped death, had the war continued. (Witham) --- All
the Jews would have been destroyed by the Romans, or all the Christians by Antichrist. (Maldonatus) --- From this place, Jesus
Christ foretells the coming of Antichrist, and forewarns Christians of latter ages, to guard all they can against seduction.
Ver. 23. Lo,
here is Christ. These words are very aptly applied by Catholics to the conventicles of heretics; and would Christians
attend to the injunctions of their divine Master, Go ye not out:---believe it not, we should not see the miserable
confusion occasioned in the Catholic Church, by unsteady Christians; who are guilty of schism, in forsaking the one true fold,
and one shepherd, to follow their blind and unauthorized leaders. (Estius)
Ver. 26. Behold
he is in the desert. This prediction of false Christs, may be understood before the destruction of Jerusalem, but
chiefly before the end of the world. (Witham) --- As we have mentioned above, in note on verse 5.
Ver. 28. Wheresoever
the body, &c. This seems to have been a proverb or common saying among the Jews. Several of the ancient interpreters,
by this body, understand Christ himself, who died for us; and they tell us, that at his second coming the angels and
saints, like eagles, with incredible swiftness, will join him at the place of judgment. (Witham) --- When he shall come to
judgment, all, as it were by a natural instinct, shall fly to meet him, and receive their judgment. St. Hilary understands
this literally; that where his body shall hang upon the cross, there will he appear in judgment, i.e. near the valley of Josaphat;
in which place the prophet Joel (chap. iii. ver. 2,) declares, that the general judgment shall take place. (Tirinus)
Ver. 29. The
sun shall be darkened, &c. These seem to be the dreadful signs that shall forerun the day of judgment. --- The
stars shall fall, not literally, but shall give no light. (Witham) --- According to St. Augustine, by the sun is meant
Jesus Christ; by the moon, the Church, which will appear as involved in darkness.
Ver. 30. The
sign of the Son of man, &c. The Fathers generally expound this of the cross of Christ, that shall be seen in the air.
(Witham) --- This sign is the cross, much more resplendent than the sun itself. Therefore the sun hides its diminished head,
whilst the cross appears in glory; because the great standard of the cross, excels in brightness all the refulgent rays that
dart from the meridian sun. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii.) --- The Jews, looking upon him whom they had pierced, now coming
in the clouds of heaven with power and exceedingly great glory, shall have great lamentations. Bitterly will they weep over
their misery, in having despised and insulted him on a cross, who ought to have been the object of their veneration,
adoration, and love. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii.)
Ver. 34. This
generation; i.e. the nation of the Jews shall not cease to exist, until all these things shall be accomplished: thus we
see the nation of the Jews still continue, and will certainly continue to the end of the world. (Tirinus) --- Then the cross,
which has been a scandal to the Jew, and a stumbling-block to the Gentile, shall appear in the heavens, for the consolation
of the good Christian. Hoc signum crucis erit in cœlo, cum Dominus ad judicandum venerit. --- If it be to be understood
of the destruction of Jerusalem, the sense may be, this race of men now living; if of the last day of judgment, this generation
of the faithful, saith Theophylactus, shall be continued: i.e. the Church of Christ, to the end of the world. (Witham)
--- This race, I tell you in very truth, shall not pass away till all this be finally accomplished in the ruin of Jerusalem,
the most express figure of the destruction and end of the world. (Bible de Vence) --- By generation, our Saviour does
not mean the people that were in existence at that time, but the faithful of his Church; thus says the psalmist: this is
the generation of them that seek the Lord. (Psalm xxiii, ver. 6.) (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii.)
Ver. 35. Shall
pass away: because they shall be changed at the end of the world into a new heaven and new earth. (Challoner)
Ver. 36. No
man knoweth ... but the Father alone. The words in St. Mark (xiii. 32.) are still harder: neither the angels, nor the
Son, but the Father. The Arians objected this place, to shew that Christ being ignorant of the day of judgment, could
not be truly God. By the same words, no one knoweth, but the Father alone, (as they expound them) the Holy Ghost must
be excluded from being the true God. In answer to this difficulty, when it is said, but the Father alone, it is certain
that the eternal Son and the Holy Ghost could never be ignorant of the day of judgment: because, as they are one and the same
God, so they must have one and the same nature, the same substance, wisdom, knowledge, and all absolute perfections. 2. It
is also certain that Jesus Christ knew the day of judgment, and all things to come, by a knowledge which he could not but
have, because of the union by which his human nature was united to the divine person and nature. See Colossians ii. 3. And
so to attribute any ignorance to Christ, was the error of those heretics called Agnoitai. 3. But though Christ, as
a man, knew the day of judgment, yet this knowledge was not due to him as he was man, or because he was man,
but he only knew the day of judgment, because he was God as well as man. 4. It is the common answer of the fathers, that Christ
here speaks to his disciples, only as he was the ambassador of his Father; and so he is only to know what he is to make known
to men. He is said not to know, says St. Augustine, what he will not make others know, or what he will not reveal to them.
(Witham) --- By this Jesus Christ wished to suppress the curiosity of his disciples. In the same manner after his resurrection,
he answered the same question: 'Tis not for you to know the times and the moments, which the Father has placed in his own
power. This last clause is added, that the apostles might not be discouraged and think their divine Master esteemed them
unworthy of knowing these things. Some Greek manuscripts add nor even the Son, as in Mark xiii. 32. The Son is ignorant
of it, not according to his divinity, nor even according to his humanity hypostatically united to his divinity, but according
to his humanity, considered as separate from his divinity. (Bible de Vence)
And as it was. The same shall take place at the coming of the Son of man at the last day, as at the general deluge.
For, as then they indulged their appetites, unmindful of the fate that was attending them, gamountes kai ekgamizontes,
marrying and given in marriage, solely occupied with the concerns of this life, and indifferent to those of the next; so shall
it be at the end of the world. They are not here accused of gross sins, but of a supine security of their salvation, as is
evident from what follows. (Jansenius)
Ver. 39. And
they thought not of the deluge, though preached and predicted by Noe, (which rendered their ignorance and incredulity
inexcusable) till it came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of man. St. Luke adds, (chap. xvii,
ver. 28,) likewise as it was in the days of Lot; they shall be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and
building, i.e. totally immersed in worldly pursuits. Hence the apostle; when they shall say peace, viz. from past evils,
and security, viz. from future, then shall destruction come upon them on a sudden. But some one may ask, how
can there possibly be all this peace, all this security, when the evils mentioned above, famines, wars, plagues, earthquakes,
and particularly the darkness of the sun, &c. &c. are presages calculated to strike with panic and consternation minds
the most thoughtless and giddy? I answer, that the wicked are chiefly designed here, who in the midst of the afflictions and
alarms of the good, will still indulge in their pleasures and luxuries, like cruel soldiers, whilst the peaceable inhabitants
are plundered. St. Jerome adds, that the world for some time before its final dissolution, will be freed from all those calamities.
As to what is said (ver. 29,) of the darkness of the sun and moon, these are circumstances that refer to the very coming of
the judge. (Jansenius)
Ver. 40. Then
of two men, who shall think of nothing less than of going to appear before God, one shall be taken to be placed among the
number of the elect, and the other shall be left condemned to eternal fire with the damned, on account of his crimes. (Bible
de Vence) --- This example of the men in the field, and of the condition and disposition of men at the period of the deluge,
strongly expresses how unexpectedly these evils will rush in upon mankind; and the subsequent account of the two women grinding
in the mill, shews how little they were solicitous for their salvation. We are, moreover, taught by these examples, that some
of all states and conditions will be saved, whether rich or poor, in ease or labour, or decorated with all the various degrees
of worldly honour. The same is mentioned in Exodus, chap. xi, ver. 5. From the first-born of Pharao, who sitteth on his
throne, even to the first-born of the handmaid that is at the mill, ... every first-born shall die. (St. Chrysostom, hom.
Ver. 41. Two
women. Slaves of both sexes were employed in grinding corn. Of these, one shall be carried up to heaven by angels, the
other shall be left a prey to devils, on account of her bad life. (Bible de Vence) --- In many ancient manuscripts, both Greek
and Latin, what we read in St. Luke, (xvii. 34.) of two men in the same bed, one shall be taken, and the other shall be
left, is here added.
Ver. 42. Watch
ye, therefore. That men might not be attentive for a time only, but preserve a continual vigilance, the Almighty conceals
from them the hour of their dissolution: they ought therefore to be ever expecting it, and ever watchful. But to the eternal
infamy of Christians be it said, much more diligence is used by the worldly wise for the preservation of their wealth, than
by the former for the salvation of their immortal souls. Though they are fully aware that the Lord will come, and like a thief
in the night, when they least expect him, they do not persevere watching, nor guard against the irreparable misfortune of
quitting the present life without previous preparation. Therefore will the day come to the destruction of such as are reposed
in sleep. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxviii. on S. Matt.) --- Of what importance is it then that we should be found watching,
and properly attentive to the one thing necessary, the salvation of our immortal souls. For what will it avail us, if we have
gained the whole world, which we must then leave, and lose our immortal souls, which, owing to our supine neglect to these
admonitions of Jesus Christ, must suffer in hell-flames for all eternity? (Haydock)
 Ver. 3. St. Jerome on this place, says, Interrogant tria: quo tempore
Jerusalem destruenda sit: quo venturus Christus: quo consummatio sæculi futura sit.
 Ver. 15. Abominationem desolationis. Bdelugma tes eremoseos.
The same words are in the Septuagint, Daniel ix. See St. Jerome on this place, and St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvi. and lxxvii.
 Ver. 28. Corpus; in most Greek copies, ptoma, cadaver.
See again St. Jerome, and St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii, p. 492.
 Ver. 34. Generatio hæc. Theophylact, e genea ton christianon.
 Ver. 36. St. Augustine, lib. 83. QQ. quæst. 60. tom. 6, p. 33. Ed.
Ben. dicitur nescire filius, quia facit nescire homines, i.e. non prodit eis, quod inutiliter scirent. See the same St. Augustine,
lib. 1. de Trin. chap. xii. tom. 8, p. 764 and 765. and lib. de Gen. cont. Manich. chap. xxii. p. 659. tom. 1.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Christ foretells the destruction of the temple: with the signs
that shall come before it, and before the last judgment. We must always watch.
1 And *Jesus being come out of the temple went away. And his disciples
came to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen, I
say to you, *there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he was sitting on Mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately,
saying: Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world?
4 And Jesus answering, said to them: *Take heed that no man seduce you:
5 For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce
6 And you shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled.
For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and
there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places.
8 Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows.
9 *Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to
death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then shall many be scandalized, and shall betray one another, and
shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many.
12 And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.
13 But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world,
for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come.
15 *When therefore, you shall see the abomination of desolation, which
was spoken of by **Daniel, the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.
16 Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains:
17 And let him that is on the house top, not come down to take any thing
out of his house:
18 And let him that is in the field, not go back to take his coat.
19 And wo to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days.
20 But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the *sabbath.
21 For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from
the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.
22 And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved:
but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.
23 *Then if any man shall say to you: Lo, here is Christ, or there: do
not believe him.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew
great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if it were possible) even the elect.
25 Behold, I have told it to you before hand.
26 If therefore, they shall say to you: Behold he is in the desert: go
ye not out: Behold he is in the closets, believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth, even unto
the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 *Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered
29 *And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall
be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then
shall all the tribes of the earth mourn: *and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power
31 *And he shall send his Angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and
they shall gather together his elect, from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of
32 Now learn a parable from the fig-tree: when its branch is now tender,
and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh.
33 So also you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near,
even at the doors.
34 Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things
35 *Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour no one knoweth, no not the Angels of heaven,
but the Father alone.
37 *And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son
of man be.
38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away: so also
shall the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field: the one shall be taken, and the other
shall be left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill: the one shall be taken, and
the other shall be left.
42 Watch ye, therefore, because you know not at what hour your Lord will
43 But this know ye, *that if the master of the house knew at what hour
the thief would come, he would certainly watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open.
44 Wherefore be ye also ready, because at what hour you know not, the Son
of man will come.
45 Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath
set over his family, to give them meat in season?
46 *Blessed is that servant, whom, when his lord shall come, he shall find
47 Amen, I say to you, he shall set him over all his goods.
48 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming:
49 And shall begin to strike his fellow-servants, and shall eat, and drink
50 The lord of that servant shall come, in a day that he expecteth not,
and in an hour that he knoweth not:
51 And shall separate him, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites.
*There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
1: about the year A.D. 33.; Mark xiii. 1.; Luke xxi. 5.
2: Luke xix. 44.
4: Ephesians v. 6.; Colossians ii. 18.
9: Matthew x. 17.; Luke xxi. 12.; John xv. 20. and xvi. 2.
15: Mark xiii. 14.; Luke xxi. 20. --- ** Daniel ix. 27.
20: Acts i. 12.
23: Mark xiii. 21.; Luke xvii. 23.
28: Luke xvii. 37.
29: Isaias xiii. 10.; Ezechiel xxxii. 7.; Joel ii. 10. and iii. 15.; Mark
xiii. 24.; Luke xxi. 25.
30: Apocalypse i. 7.
31: 1 Corinthians xv. 52.; 1 Thessalonians iv. 15.
35: Mark xiii. 31.
37: Genesis vii. 7.; Luke xvii. 26.
43: Mark xiii. 35.; Luke xii. 39.
46: Apocalypse xvi. 15.
51: Matthew xiii. 42. and xxv. 30.