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To: All

From: Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

Epilogue: Poem of the Perfect Wife


[10] A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
[11] The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
[12] She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
[13] She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

[19] She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
[20] She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

[30]Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
[31] Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

31:10-31. The book closes with a beautiful acrostic poem (the first letter of each
verse corresponds to a Hebrew letter, in alphabetical order) about the qualities of
the perfect wife in the context of a rural family in ancient Israel. The whole poem
is probably symbolic. The prologue to the book depicted Wisdom as a woman
who invites everyone to a banquet prepared at her house. Now, in this ideal wo-
man who always knows the right thing to do in every situation, we can see once
more the wisdom that God has left stamped on creation.

The poem reveals the moral strength of women. Bl. John Paul II comments that
this strength “expresses itself in a great number of figures of the Old Testament,
of the time of Christ, and of later ages right up to our own day. “A woman is
strong because of her awareness of this entrusting”, strong because of the fact
that God ‘entrusts the human being to her’, always and in every way, even in the
situations of social discrimination in which she may find herself. This awareness
and this fundamental vocation speak to women of the dignity which they receive
from God himself, and this makes them ‘strong’ and strengthens their vocation.
Thus the ‘perfect woman’ (cf. Prov 31:10) becomes an irreplaceable support and
source of spiritual strength for other people, who perceive the great energies of
her spirit. These ‘perfect women’ are owed much by their families, and some-
times by whole nations” (”Mulieris Dignitatem”, 30).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 11/12/2011 4:37:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

The Second Coming of the Lord (Continuation)


[1] But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have any-
thing written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will
come like a thief in the night. [3] When people say, “There is peace and security,”
then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman
with child, and there will be no escape. [4] But you are not in darkness, brethren,
for that day to surprise you like a thief. [5] For you are all sons of light and sons
of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. [6] So then let us not sleep,
as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-3. “The day of the Lord” is an expression used a number of times in Sacred
Scripture to refer to that point at which God will intervene decisively and irrever-
sibly. The prophets speak of the “day of Yahweh” sometimes fearfully (cf. Amos
5:18-20), sometimes hopefully (cf. Is 6:13). In his eschatological sermon (cf. Mt
24; Mk 13; Lk 21), Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in a style very
reminiscent of that used by the prophets (cf. Amos 8:9ff) when speaking of the
“day of Yahweh”. The destruction of the city brings to an end the Jewish era in
the history of salvation and prefigures the second coming of Christ as Judge of
all. In St Paul’s letters, as in other New Testament writings,the “day of the Lord”
is the day of the general judgment when Christ will appear in the fullness of glo-
ry as Judge (cf. 1 Cor 1:8; 2 Cor 1:14). The Apostle brings in some examples
used by our Lord in his preaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the
world (the “thief in the night”: cf. Mt 24:43; the pains of childbirth: cf. Mt 24:19)
to warn people that that day will come unexpectedly, and to exhort them to be
always ready.

The Christian, therefore, should always be on the watch, for he never knows for
sure when the last day of his life will be. The second coming of the Lord will take
people by surprise; it will catch them doing good or doing evil. So, it would be
rash to postpone repentance to some time in the future.

4-6. A thief works by night because he thinks that darkness will find the house-
holder unprepared. Our Lord also used this metaphor when he said that if the fa-
ther of the family had known when the thief would come, he would have kept a
lookout (cf. Mt 24:43) — in other words, we need to be always alert, in the state
of grace, surrounded by light. So, “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses
us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:7).

On the same subject the Church teaches that our souls are “illumined by the
light of faith” (”St Pius V Catechism”, II, 2, 4).

We should therefore live a transparent life, with the divine light shining clearly
through it; if we do, the “day of the Lord” (which can also be applied to the day
each person dies) will not find us unprepared,even if it comes suddenly. “A true
Christian is always ready to appear before God. Because, if he is fighting to live
as a man of Christ, he is ready at every moment to fulfill his duty” (St. J. Escri-
va, “Furrow”, 875).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 11/12/2011 4:38:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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