Catena Aurea, Mk 13:33-37, First Sunday of Advent (B)
The Venerable Bede (672/3-735): The man who, travelling abroad, left his house is Christ, who ascending as a conqueror to His Father after the Resurrection, left His Church, as to His bodily presence, but has never deprived her of the safeguard of His Divine presence.
Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-614): Hom in Evan, 9: “And he left his servants in charge, each with his own task,” when, by giving to His faithful ones the grace of the Holy Ghost, He gave them the power of serving every good work. He has also ordered the doorkeeper to watch, because He commanded the order of pastors to have a care over the Church committed to them. Not only, however, those of us who rule over Churches, but all are required to watch the doors of their hearts, lest the evil suggestions of the devil enter into them, and lest our Lord find us sleeping. Wherefore concluding this parable He adds, “Stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn: if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep.”
Theophylact of Ochrid (1055-1107): See again that He has not said, “I know not when the time will be,” but, “Ye know not.” For the reason why He concealed it was that it was better for us; for if, now that we do not know the end, we are careless, what should we do if we knew it? We should keep on our wickedness even unto the end. Let us therefore listen to His words; for the end comes at evening, when a man dies in old age; a midnight, when he dies in the midst of his youth; and at cockcrow, when our reason is perfect within us. For when a child begins to live according to his reason, then the cock cries loud within him, rousing him from the sleep of sense; but the age of childhood is the morning. Now anyone in these ages must look out for the end.