Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator
St. Paul's letters predate all of the Gospels. However, the Letter to the Thessalonians reveals that the Gospels were already in development. We know this because St. Paul seems to quote one of the Gospels in today's second reading. He uses Jesus' comment that the end will come like a thief in the night.
Once again, we find St. Paul dealing with the familiar questions of "when" and "where" with regard to the second coming of Christ. We need to remember that the answers to these questions are "Now" and "Here." The Reign or Realm of Heaven is among us in the here and now. Notice that St. Paul tells us not that we "will be" children of the light. We are children of the light. We cannot continue to act as if we were children of the darkness; rather we must embrace who we are. Referencing the most common activity of darkness, St. Paul admonishes us not to be asleep but to be alert.
The responsorial psalm for this Sunday is one of the psalms of ascent singing the joys of family life. The vast majority of us live in family units. If we are going to be children of the light, for the most part it will be in the context of family life that we will live out that reality. The example of the industrious woman from the first reading reminds us that God expects us to bring the imperatives of our baptismal vows to the ordinary arena of our daily life.