The theme of the Gospel is: “Be watchful and ready.” We are in a condition of awaiting something or someone important, and we don’t know when the arrival will take place. Hence the advice: “keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour.”
The liturgy combines this reading with a passage from Wisdom, suggesting that what we are awaiting is the arrival of wisdom: “he who watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed.”
When will we finally understand what we need to know in order to live together as brothers and sisters?
When will we get the wisdom to place the one true God ahead of our petty gods of power, possessions, and pleasure? When will we be inspired with the wisdom to overcome our social ills? We do not know when, and so we must be watchful and ready, otherwise the moment will pass us by.
One thing we do know: wisdom “makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her.” Those will not be found worthy who do not listen to the Scriptures, or to their own experiences, or to the sufferings of those around them. The message to them will be tragic: “I tell you, I do not know you.”
We do not know the time for the consummation of the earth and of humanity, nor do we know how all things will be transformed. As deformed by sin, the shape of this world will pass away; but we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide, and whose blessedness will answer and surpass all the longings for peace which spring up in the human heart.
Vatican II, Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 1965:39