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The Last Judgment

Monday in the First Week of Lent

Scripture Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 15; Matthew 25:31-46

My dear encountered couples:

The Second Coming. That’s what Jesus is talking about. There we will be, not in one big altogether group, but in two groups separated by a rope or an aisle, with Jesus seated up high and in front. Those of us who have treated our fellow men and women well will be in the group to the right of Jesus; those of us who have treated our fellow men and women poorly will be on his left. And the words we will hear Jesus saying will be these:

To those of us on his right: “Come, you have my Father’s blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.” To those of us on his left: “Out of my sight, you condemned, into that everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels!” Which words will it be that Jesus will be saying to us? That, of course, depends on which group we are standing in.

I assume all of pray every day. Maybe the rosary, maybe daily Mass and communion, maybe a bit of spiritual reading and some meditation. We certainly proclaim our faith in Christ and our love for our fellow men and women often. But it seems none of that is what Jesus says will get us into heaven. It is how we treat our relatives, our friends, strangers, and anybody else that happens to stumble into our lives.

How you treat others,” Jesus said, “you treat me.” Prayers and Masses open us to the help of the Holy Spirit for living lives of love, but the final decision and effort as to whether we will or not is left up to us. The Second Coming, the last Judgment. Don’t leave it up to chance.


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