On the 34th Sunday, we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe, and also the last Sunday of the liturgical year. The Church turns us towards the end of man and the whole universe. That is the end of the world. On that day, each one of us will be faced with a judgment by King Jesus himself as Judge.
When will that day come? We often mistakenly think that with events happening to humanity such as epidemics, natural disasters, wars, violence, injustice, and many other difficulties of life, the end of time is approaching. But that is not the end of the world. That day will come in a time that no one has been able to foresee- “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come–neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows” -Mt 24, 36.
St. Matthew shows us the scene of that judgment day. Jesus will come in glory, and around him the Angels. The nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them like a shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will put the sheep on the right, and the goats on the left: the good sheep will be rewarded in heaven, and the goats, the wicked, will be sentenced to Hell (cf. Mt 25:31).
To await the end of the Apocalypse, the coming of Jesus the Judge, we need to be confident and practice the following points:
Firstly, believing the judgment day is true. On this matter we have confessed in the Creed: “And he will return in glory to judge the living and the dead.” Jesus also said of the Day of the Apocalypse, “And just like the day of Noah, how it happened, the same will happen in the day of the Son of Man.” (Lk 17:26). He also said to the Apostles: I am going to make room for you and I will come to bring you back to me (Jn 14: 2-3). Today’s Gospel of St. Matthew also states: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, with all his angels followed, then he will ascend to his glorious throne. The nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from each other like a shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. ”(Mt 25:31). So there is the end of the world, but we do not know when it will be.
Secondly, Our Lord Jesus Christ – The only King of the universe- the only Judge of all nations. In the letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul affirms: “We must all be brought to light, before the court of Christ, so that each may receive what is commensurate with the good or bad deeds that have been done, when still in the body ”(2 Cor 5:10). In this regard, Jesus also spoke clearly in the parable of the talents (Mt 25: 14-30). Through this parable, the master is Jesus. The journey which the master went away was basically his return to the Father. The servants are those who believe in Jesus. The talents given to the servants are gifts from the Lord. The treasures that the servants pay for are good deeds they have done when they make use of their abilities. The return of his master is the return of Jesus at the end of the world. Then, the “boss” Jesus will judge people according to their merits. Therefore, each of us must always remember that the king will judge us; If you have merit, you will be rewarded, and if you are guilty, you will be punished.
Thirdly, the justice scale of The King of Mercy is the law of love. In the gospel, Jesus reconciles him with the little ones. So those who help the little ones, help himself. Therefore, he said to the good, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world. I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink: I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me … I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!” (Mt 25,34-36.40). On the contrary, he said to the wicked: “away from me, you that are under God’s curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels! I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink; I was a stranger but you would not welcome me in your homes, naked but you would not clothe me; I was sick and in prison but you would not take care of me… I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.” (Mt 25,41-43.45). In short, the criterion for Jesus to judge is the law of love.
Lastly, what should we do to be ready for that day? There is the Apocalypse and it comes like a thief ( 2 Cr 3, 10). Therefore, we must work diligently to profit the gifts of the Lord as the faithful servants in the parable of the talents (Mt 25: 14-30). We must have the attitude of a watchful servant waiting for his master or like the housekeeper awake to keep an eye on the thief (Lk 12: 35-40). We must prepare the lamp oil as the five wise virgins ( Mt 25: 13). In particular, each of us should strive to exercise loving charity, for that is the criterion for us to enter the kingdom of Heaven. In the homily of Pope Francis on “International Day of the Poor” at the Vatican, He affirmed that: “The poor are our entrance into Heaven.” And he reminded everyone: “God gives us the talents, the abilities, which must be utilized and developed to benefit others, especially the poor”, and speaking at the Manila Cathedral in 2015, he also said: “ the poor are the center of the Gospel, are the heart of the Gospel, if we take away the poor from the Gospel, we can not understand the whole message of Jesus Christ”.
As for us CMT, we are called to love the option for the excluded of our time and to show that we want to walk with them, making ours the wounds of the suffering body of the Church: Look at Him in this body that is his Church wounded and crucified, poor, needy, persecuted, rejected and scorned. And under this consideration, offer yourself to take care of it and render it services that are within your ways and means. ( Letter 42,2) . Let us live with the law of love every day of our life so that we will have a “ pass card” to enter the kingdom of God.