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To: All

From: Matthew 25:31-46

The Last Judgment


[31] “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then
He will sit on His glorious throne. [32] Before Him will be gathered all the nations,
and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep
from the goats, [33] and He will place the sheep at His right hand, but the goats
at the left. [34] Then the King will say to those at His right hand, ‘Come, O bles-
sed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
world; [35] for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me
drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, [36] I was naked and you clothed
Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ [37]
Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed
thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? [38] And when did we see Thee a stranger and
welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee? [39] And when did we see Thee sick or
in prison and visit Thee?’ [40] And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of My brethren, you did it to Me.’ [41] Then He will
say to those at His left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire pre-
pared for the devil and his angels; [42] for I was hungry and you gave Me no food;
I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, [43] I was a stranger and you did not wel-
come Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not
visit Me.’ [44] Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or
thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to Thee?’
[45] Then He will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the
least of these, you did it not to Me.’ [46] And they will go away into eternal punish-
ment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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

31-46. The three parables (Matthew 24:42-51; 25:1-13; and 25:14-30) are comple-
ted by the announcement of a rigorous last judgment, a last act in a drama, in
which all matters of justice are resolved. Christian tradition calls it the Last Judg-
ment, to distinguish it from the “Particular Judgment” which everyone undergoes
immediately after death. The sentence pronounced at the end of time will simply
be a public, formal confirmation of that already passed on the good and the evil,
the elect and the reprobate.

31-33. In the Prophets and in the Book of Revelation the Messiah is depicted on
a throne, like a judge. This is how Jesus will come at the end of the world, to
judge the living and the dead.

The Last Judgment is a truth spelled out in the very earliest credal statements
of the Church and dogma of faith solemnly defined by Benedict XII in the Consti-
tution “Benedictus Deus” (29 January 1336).

35-46. All the various things listed in this passage (giving people food and drink,
clothing them, visiting them) become works of Christian charity when the person
doing them sees Christ in these “least” of His brethren.

Here we can see the seriousness of sins of omission. Failure to do something
which one should do means leaving Christ unattended.

“We must learn to recognize Christ when He comes out to meet us in our bro-
thers, the people around us. No human life is ever isolated. It is bound up with
other lives. No man or woman is a single verse; we all make up one divine poem
which God writes with the cooperation of our freedom” St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is
Passing By”, 111).

We will be judged on the degree and quality of our love (cf. St. John of the Cross,
“Spiritual Sentences and Maxims”, 57). Our Lord will ask us to account not only
for the evil we have done but also for the good we have omitted. We can see that
sins of omission are a very serious matter and that the basis of love of neighbor
is Christ’s presence in the least of our brothers and sisters.

St. Teresa of Avila writes: “Here the Lord asks only two things of us: love for His
Majesty and love of our neighbor. It is for these two virtues that we must strive,
and if we attain them perfectly we are doing His will [...]. The surest sign that
we are keeping these two commandments is, I think, that we should really be
loving our neighbor; for we cannot be sure if we are loving God, although we may
have good reasons for believing that we are, but we can know quite well if we
are loving our neighbor. And be certain that, the farther advanced you find you
are in this, the greater the love you will have for God; for so dearly does His Ma-
jesty love us that He will reward our love for our neighbor by increasing the love
which we bear to Himself, and that in a thousand ways: this I cannot doubt” (”In-
terior Castle”, V, 3).

This parable clearly shows that Christianity cannot be reduced to a kind of agen-
cy for “doing good”. Service of our neighbor acquires supernatural value when it
is done out of love for Christ, when we see Christ in the person in need. This is
why St. Paul asserts that “if I give away all I have...but have not love, I gain no-
thing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Any interpretation of Jesus’ teaching on the Last
Judgment would be wide of the mark if it gave it a materialistic meaning or con-
fused mere philanthropy with genuine Christian charity.

40-45. In describing the exigencies of Christian charity which gives meaning to
“social aid”, the Second Vatican Council says: “Wishing to come to topics that
are practical and of some urgency, the Council lays stress on respect for the
human person: everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception)
as another self, bearing in mind, above all, his life and the means necessary for
living it in a dignified way, ‘lest he follow the example of the rich man who ignored
Lazarus, the poor man’ (cf. Luke 16:18-31).

“Today there is an inescapable duty to make ourselves the neighbor of every
man, no matter who he is, and if we meet him, to come to his aid in a positive
way, whether he is an aged person abandoned by all, a foreign worker despised
without reason, a refugee, an illegitimate child wrongly suffering for a sin he did
not commit, or a starving human being who awakens our conscience by calling
to mind the words of Christ: ‘As you did it to one of the least of these My breth-
ren, you did it to Me.’” (”Gaudium Et Spes,” 27).

46. The eternal punishment of the reprobate and the eternal reward of the elect
are a dogma of faith solemnly defined by the Magisterium of the Church in the
Fourth Lateran Council (1215): “He [Christ] will come at the end of the world; He
will judge the living and the dead; and He will reward all, both the lost and the e-
lect, according to their works. And all these will rise with their own bodies which
they now have so that they may receive according to their works, whether good
or bad; the wicked, a perpetual punishment with the devil; the good, eternal glory
with Christ.”

*********************************************************************************************
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 03/09/2014 9:02:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Leviticus 19:1-2,11-18 ©

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said: ‘Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them:

  ‘“Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.

  ‘“You must not steal nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your neighbour. You must not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord. You must not exploit or rob your neighbour. You must not keep back the labourer’s wage until next morning. You must not curse the dumb, nor put an obstacle in the blind man’s way, but you must fear your God. I am the Lord.

  ‘“You must not be guilty of unjust verdicts. You must neither be partial to the little man nor overawed by the great; you must pass judgement on your neighbour according to justice. You must not slander your own people, and you must not jeopardise your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord. You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. You must openly tell him, your neighbour, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”’


Psalm

Psalm 18:8-10,15 ©

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.

The law of the Lord is perfect,

  it revives the soul.

The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,

  it gives wisdom to the simple.

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.

The precepts of the Lord are right,

  they gladden the heart.

The command of the Lord is clear,

  it gives light to the eyes.

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.

The fear of the Lord is holy,

  abiding for ever.

The decrees of the Lord are truth

  and all of them just.

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.

May the spoken words of my mouth,

  the thoughts of my heart,

win favour in your sight, O Lord,

  my rescuer, my rock!

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.


Gospel Acclamation

Ezk18:31

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Shake off all your sins – it is the Lord who speaks –

and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Or

2Co6:2

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Now is the favourable time:

this is the day of salvation.

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!


Gospel

Matthew 25:31-46 ©

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.

  ‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

  ‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”

  ‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’


5 posted on 03/09/2014 9:15:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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