Commentary on the reading of the day provided by
Saint Ephrem (c.306-373),
deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on the Diatessaron, 18,15 ; SC 121 (trans. cf breviary 1st Thursday of Advent)
At an hour you do not know the Son of Man will come
To prevent his disciples from questioning him about the time of his coming Christ said: “Of that hour no one knows, neither the angels nor the Son” (Mt 24,36).
It is not for you to know the days or the hour” (Acts 1,7).
He hid the time from us so that we would be on the watch and so that each of us might think that the coming will happen in his own lifetime.
If he had revealed when he was to come again, his coming would have been made pointless and the peoples and ages in which it will take place would no longer yearn for it.
He said that he will come again, indeed, but he did not say exactly when.
Hence, all generations and ages live in eager expectation of him.
The Lord pointed out the signs of his coming but we have no knowledge of when they will be completed.
In many varied ways they have happened and passed away and are still happening.
His last coming is, in fact, like his first: the just and the prophets longed for him, thinking that he was to appear in their day.
So, today, each of the faithful wants to receive him in his own lifetime, and even more so in that Jesus did not reveal the day of his coming.
His reason for this was so that no one might think that the Christ is subject to a law of time or a given hour, he who is lord over numbers and times.