THE FINAL JUDGMENT
“He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”
With the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King this coming Sunday, we are now in the final days before the end of the liturgical year. During the liturgical year, the Church commemorated the events of the History of Salvation while celebrating the mysteries of the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ starting from the preparation for His Coming (ADVENT) to His Birth and Hidden Life (CHRISTMAS), His Public life (ORDINARY TIME to LENT), His Passion and Death (HOLY WEEK) culminating into His Resurrection, Ascension into Heaven and the Descent of the Holy Spirit (EASTER).
In the Apostles’ Creed, we pray: “From thence HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD. I believe in…the RESURRECTION OF THE BODY AND LIFE EVERLASTING. Amen” These truths are precisely what the last Sunday of Ordinary Time (the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King) commemorates: the resurrection of the dead and the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the world during which the Final Judgment will take place, which we have just considered in last Sunday’s liturgy.
- The FINAL JUDGMENT is different from the PARTICULAR JUDGMENT.
- The PARTICULAR JUDGMENT occurs IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DEATH of the person.
- “It is the judgment of immediate retribution which each one after death will receive from God in his immortal soul IN ACCORD WITH HIS FAITH AND HIS WORKS. This retribution consists in entrance into the happiness of HEAVEN, immediately or after an appropriate purification, or entry into the eternal damnation of HELL (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 208).”
- The FINAL JUDGMENT will be preceded by the “the RESURRECTION OF ALL THE DEAD”
- There will be a RESURRECTION OF THE BODIES “‘OF BOTH THE JUST AND THE UNJUST,’… This will be ‘the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1038).” “Our mortal bodies will one day come to life again (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 203).”
- “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace (Dn 12:2).”
- IN WHAT DOES THE FINAL JUDGMENT CONSIST?
- Our Lord Jesus Christ will ratify the retribution received by each soul during the particular judgment but this time the resurrected body will share in it as well.
- “Christ will come ‘in his glory, and all the angels with him …. 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, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left…. And they will go away into ETERNAL PUNISHMENT, but the righteous into ETERNAL LIFE (see Mt 25: 31-46)’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1038).”
- “The final or universal judgment consists in a SENTENCE OF HAPPINESS OR ETERNAL CONDEMNATION, which the Lord Jesus will issue in regard to the “just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15) when he returns as the JUDGE OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD. After the last judgment, THE RESURRECTED BODY WILL SHARE IN THE RETRIBUTION WHICH THE SOUL RECEIVED AT THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 214).”
- “ONLY THE FATHER KNOWS THE DAY AND THE HOUR; ONLY HE DETERMINES THE MOMENT OF ITS COMING. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. WE SHALL KNOW THE ULTIMATE MEANING OF THE WHOLE WORK OF CREATION AND OF THE ENTIRE ECONOMY OF SALVATION and UNDERSTAND THE MARVELOUS WAYS BY WHICH HIS PROVIDENCE LED EVERYTHING TOWARDS ITS FINAL END. The Last Judgment will reveal that GOD’S JUSTICE TRIUMPHS OVER ALL THE INJUSTICES COMMITTED BY HIS CREATURES AND THAT GOD’S LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1040).”
- Then, THE SALVIFIC PLAN OF GOD WILL HAVE ITS DEFINITIVE REALIZATION: ‘NEW HEAVENS’ AND ‘NEW EARTH’
- “After the final judgment THE UNIVERSE ITSELF, FREED FROM ITS BONDAGE TO DECAY, WILL SHARE IN THE GLORY OF CHRIST WITH THE BEGINNING OF ‘THE NEW HEAVENS’ AND A ‘NEW EARTH’ (2 Peter 3:13). Thus, the fullness of the Kingdom of God will come about, that is to say, THE DEFINITIVE REALIZATION OF THE SALVIFIC PLAN OF GOD TO ‘UNITE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, THINGS IN HEAVEN AND THINGS ON EARTH’ (Ephesians 1:10). GOD WILL THEN BE ‘ALL IN ALL’ (1 Corinthians 15:28) in eternal life (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 216).”
- “In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, GOD WILL HAVE HIS DWELLING AMONG MEN. ‘HE WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR FROM THEIR EYES, AND DEATH SHALL BE NO MORE, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE MOURNING NOR CRYING NOR PAIN ANY MORE, FOR THE FORMER THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY (Rev 21:4)’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1044) “
Dear friends, the message of the Final Judgment points to the GLORIOUS AND VICTORIOUS COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. THIS IS OUR FINAL GOAL: “AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISEN LORD.” Pope Francis said in his Nov. 15, 2015 Angelus Address:
“I would like to ask how many of you think about this: ‘There will be a day in which I encounter the Lord face to face.’ And this is our goal, our encounter. We do not await a time or a place; rather we are going to encounter a person: Jesus. THUS THE PROBLEM IS NOT ‘WHEN’ THESE PREMONITORY SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS WILL OCCUR, BUT RATHER THAT WE FIND OURSELVES PREPARED. It’s also not about knowing ‘how’ these things will happen, but instead ‘how’ we have to act today, in awaiting these things.”
This definitive event spurs us to be VIGILANT and instills in us a HOLY FEAR OF GOD –LOVE! – AND COMMITS US TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE, convinced that God’s love, power, justice and mercy will prevail once and for all over the evils and injustices of this world. And one day, while we await with the “blessed hope” of our Lord’s return, he will come “to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed (Titus 2:13; 2 Thess 1:10).”
Let us then embark on the path of DAILY CONVERSION while God is still giving us “the acceptable time” to prepare ourselves for “the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2.),” without being afraid of denying ourselves for God and for other, knowing that the
“The triumph of Jesus at the end of time will be the triumph of the cross, the demonstration that the sacrifice of oneself for love of neighbor, in imitation of Christ, is the only victorious power, the only stable point in the midst of the upheavals of the world.
(Pope Francis, Angelus, Nov. 15, 2015)”
Have a great week ahead, friends!
May God bless you and keep you, preparing yourselves for the forthcoming solemnity of Christ the King by striving to let Him to reign in your heart, in your life, in your joys and sorrows, and in every action of yours!
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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PHOTO: Michelangelo, The Last Judgment (detail) in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/Michelangelo,_Giudizio_Universale_02.jpg