Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we all continue to proceed through the season of Lent, let us all begin with the end or the goal in mind, as we recall what we have just heard from today’s Scripture readings. I am especially referring to what we have just heard in our Gospel passage today, in what we usually know as the Last Judgement narrative when the Lord Jesus told His disciples what would happen at the end of time.
In summary, at the end of time there will be a great judgment for all mankind who have ever lived, from the times of the past, from our current present and from the future times. All mankind will rise again and be present before God, Who will then judge all of them by their deeds and actions throughout their respective lives. Then they all will be separated into two groups, one that are worthy of God and the eternal life of joy they have been promised, and the other one are those who have rejected God and consequently are also going to be rejected and cast out into eternal darkness.
And the Lord spoke to all of them, one group by one group, welcoming those who have been considered worthy of God, and rebuking those who have been found unworthy and wanting in their faith. Using this, the Lord also then showed what are the way for each one of us mankind to end up in either one of the groups. Those who are welcomed and praised by God, are those who love others, cared for the need of the hungry and the oppressed, the orphans and those who have been rejected by others, essentially showing love for those who are less fortunate than them. All these support them on the Day of Judgement.
Meanwhile, those who have been rejected and cast out are those who on the contrary, failed to extend a helping hand to those who are in need, who turn a blind eye to the needs of those who are unloved, poor and weak, those who are oppressed and downtrodden. They have put themselves and their own selfishness above the need to love and care for others, or worse still, benefit in the face of the sufferings of others. All these weigh down on them on the Day of Judgement.
If all of these sound quite familiar to us, that is because today we have heard it yet another time earlier on the first reading passage from the Book of Leviticus. In that occasion, as God laid before His people, the Israelites through Moses and Aaron, His laws and commandments, He has already told and taught them how to live their lives as good, virtuous and faithful followers of God’s path and what it means to be the chosen people of God.
And it means that His people ought to act righteously at all times, shunning hatred and injustice, showing care and concern for their fellow brothers and sisters in their midst. This is the same exhortation and precepts that all of us as Christians, God’s chosen people must also take heed of. Why is this so? That is because whatever God has taught and revealed to us, has been affirmed again and again, and finalised by Christ, in His account of the Last Judgement today. Through that account, we are blessed to find out from the Lord Himself, what will be the ultimate outcome of our choices in life.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are essentially presented with the choice between following and obeying God’s ways, as I have just described in great length, or whether we prefer to follow our own path, that is more likely than not, centred on ourselves and on our own self-preservation, thinking only about ourselves and causing hurt on others in the process, or being ignorant on the plight of those who are suffering all around us. I am certain that I do not have to elaborate again on what the final outcomes of our choices will be, as the Lord had explained and revealed them all so clearly.
Today, as we continue to progress through this blessed penitential season of Lent, let us all ask ourselves, whether we want to live our lives in the manner of those whom God will reject in the end, or whether we want to embrace the ways that God has presented before us. And indeed, our challenge is that we have been called to take up this way of life if we have not done so, and continue walking through it, if we have walked it earlier. It will not be an easy path, as we will definitely encounter many trials and oppositions along the way.
Nonetheless, if we remain faithful to the end, despite the trials and challenges, we will enjoy the fullness of God’s grace and love, as we have been assured by Christ Himself. Let us now therefore pray for one another and help each other in remaining faithful to God throughout our lives. Let us make our season of Lent this year be a fruitful and beneficial one, by deepening our relationship with God through prayer, and by practicing charity in our lives daily. May the Lord be with us always, and may He guide us in our journey of faith, as we continue to struggle and persevere through life. Amen.