The first reading from the Book of Revelation sums up the end time with judgment and the fullness of God’s glory.
Tag Archives: Judgment
The Psalm response reminds us that the Lord will come again to judge the world, and we are both challenged and consoled with this promise.
The Lord reproaches the villages where he he performed many mighty miracles. Why? They did not repent and change their lives. May we take this lesson to heart as we turn away from sin and follow Christ.
The Lord offers some powerful spiritual insights to the disciples, reminding us of the importance to examine carefully the state of our souls.
The Book of Daniel and the Gospel of John offer us examples of Justice and Mercy, crucial concepts that require our careful thought and attention as disciples of the Lord. May we strive for Justice in all our actions as we we recognize our ongoing need for God’s Mercy when we sin.
In the exchange between God and Samuel, we hear an important insight: “Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance, but God looks into the heart.” In light of this observation, may we focus on how we look on the inside!
Study: What comes to mind when you think of Heaven? Have you or someone you know ever had a near-death experience? How does thinking of Heaven shape how you live your life?
Pray: Is there something that is keeping you away from God? Take time to pray and consider receiving the Sacrament of Confession.
Serve: Are there any tasks that you have neglected that would cause hardship to others if you died suddenly? What steps can you take to make sure that you are ready when the Lord calls you home?
Both the 1st Reading and the Gospel point to the resurrection of the dead. In the Second Book of Maccabees we hear how those who are tortured for their faith find hope in the resurrection to eternal life, and in the Gospel of Luke Jesus teaches the Sadducees that the dead will rise.
To talk about heaven is not some sort of “pie in the sky” thinking. We look to this world – where we experience birth, life and death – as a pilgrim progress. We are travelers passing through, confident that there is more to the journey when death comes our way.
This understanding of the resurrection of the dead is thus both a consolation and a challenge. As a consolation we have hope! We seek to love and know the Lord in this life so that we are prepared to be with him forever in heaven. Life on earth leads to the eternal; we find that our longings in this world point toward a fulfillment that comes in the next chapter of our story.
Yet the challenge is also real. Will we be prepared at the hour of our death? Will we look upon the face of Jesus with love, or will shame, fear, sin and vice drive us away? For in the end all will be fully known: either we will run to the Lord to seek his mercy for our sins, or we will run away because we see our sins as insurmountable obstacles.
The Church Fathers used the image of Holy Fire as a fitting example. When we are called from this life we will stand before the burning fire of God’s love. The elect will draw near to this fire for warmth (and very possibly) a cleansing that burns away all impurities. The damned will simply burn up…unable to receive the mercy and grace. Why? Because they did not acknowledge their sins and accept God’s mercy and forgiveness during their journey on earth.
As we head toward the end of the Liturgical Year and the Extraordinary Year of Mercy, I invite all of us to ponder life, death and resurrection – seeking the Lord’s saving grace in this life so that we are prepared to meet Jesus Christ in the eternal life to come.
Note: This post was first published on October 31, 2016.
The Last Judgment, Michelangelo, 1536-1541, Sistine Chapel, Rome. Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis.
The Letter to the Romans is a powerful expression of St. Paul’s thought. In this passage we discover the danger of judging others and glossing over our own sins. Rather, we acknowledge our need for the Savior and embrace the grace of the Cross.
This well known passage from the Gospel of John reminds us that it was out of love for sinful humanity that God sent Jesus Christ for our salvation. May we humbly acknowledge the darkness within our hearts and turn to the one who longs to make us whole.
The encounter between Jesus and the woman caught in adultery offers an insight into both the judgment and mercy of God. May we cherish the Lord’s compassion as we honestly examine our hearts for whatever keeps us from God and one another.
Photo Credit: The Passion of the Christ, 2004.