St Mary Star of the Sea

Roman Catholic Church, Mississauga, Ontario

FRom The Desk of...…..

Lord, You engender the Body of the Holy Church in a way which You alone know and understand….. By means of Your Blood, You make a well-organized, well-formed Body of which You are the Head.  The angels delight in its beauty, the archangels admire it, the seraphim are enraptured by it, all the angelic spirits marvel at it, and all the souls of the blessed in heaven rejoice in it.  The Blessed Trinity takes delight in it in a manner beyond our comprehension.

St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi

Quoted from Divine Intimacy, First Week After The Ephiphany, 44.

November 17 2019 Message

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Four Last Things: Judgement

Last week, I began a series of bulletin messages focusing on the four last things: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. In my first message, I reflected on death, the end of our earthly life. We have to remember that our earthly lives, the short time that we have on earth, is a “time of grace and mercy which God offers [us] so as to work out [our] earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide [our] ultimate destiny.” (CCC 1013) As the young people used to say frequently, “You only live once”. We do not believe in “reincarnation.”

So, what comes after death? In this message, I would like to reflect on judgement. In speaking about judgment, the Church makes a distinction in her teaching. There are two judgements that we will face. The first judgement is known as the particular judgement: “Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgement that refers his life to Christ.” (CCC 1022) That judgement is to two places, heaven or hell. Two examples from the Scriptures that help us understand this particular judgement are the parable of the poor man Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief (Lk 23:39-43).

So that the good Lord can judge us favourably at this particular judgement, we have this short time on earth to accept the divine grace given to us by Christ Jesus. In accepting this divine grace, we will love God and serve him, and love our neighbour through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. In rejecting the divine grace, we will have an inordinate love of self, be self serving and be indifferent to others. St. John of the Cross writes: “At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.”

The second judgement that we face will be the last judgement or the general judgment. As the Catechism explains, this judgement takes place at the resurrection of the dead, when all the dead shall rise from their tombs, both the just and the unjust. (Cf CCC 1038) The Scripture passage that best illustrates what happens at the last judgment is found in St. Matthew’s Gospel as the Shepherd separates the sheep from the goats (Mt 25:31,32,46). It is in the general judgement, “In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare. The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.” (CCC 1039).

At the last judgement, with everything being laid bare, we will understand everything that the Lord has done through his Divine Providence that has led to the final end. Here we will see how our God is a just God and his justice triumphs over all the injustice of the world and that our God is a loving God and his love triumphs over sin and death. (Cf. CCC 1040)

For us, the beauty that we find in this teaching of the Church is that God has given us this day to change our lives - to turn away from sin and receive the grace that God is offering by turning towards His Son, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

Father Michael