THE LAST JUDGMENT
in His great love for us, has given us the scenario for our
judgments after we die. It is like giving us the test questions for
the final exams and the answers to the questions. Only a fool would
fail such a test; and yet many Christians have chosen and will
choose to be fools...by not preparing for this final exam.
At the end times, as Christ
descends from the heavens, all those who had practiced the
Beatitudes will rise up to the heavens and meet Christ. Then, they
will all come down and sit to judge the world. All the saints will
be seated with Christ, the great saints and the, shall we say,
smaller saints; those who had attained all the Beatitudes and those
who had attained only the first Beatitude.
Then they will, with Christ, judge
those who have remained on earth. The sheep are placed on the right
and the goats on the left. The sheep represent the meek and the
humble like Christ; and the goats, being animals who like to venture
to dangerous places, represent those who had gone to places
dangerous to their souls and had fallen.
Then Christ enumerates the
Christian's obligation of true love and praises the sheep for having
fulfilled this obligation. Then He turns to the goats and condemns
them for not having fulfilled this obligation.
What are these obligations?
"To feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe
the naked..." And this obligation, Christ added, will save
one's soul if done to "one of the least of My
Let us first see who are the
"least of the Brethren of Christ." Then let us see what it
is to feed the hungry, who is one of the least of the Brethren of
In Scriptures, Christ raised the
question, who are His brethren. And Christ's commands are summarized
in the Beatitudes. Those who have attained to the heights of the
Beatitudes are great saints; while those who have attained only the
first Beatitude, obeying Christ's command to be meek and humble, are
the least among the saints. The "least of the brethren of
Christ", therefore, are the "poor in spirit", the
meek and humble of heart. Those who are proud, irritable, prone to
anger and hatred, the adulterer and robber, those who do not obey
His commands are not His brethren.
So when we give food and drink to
the "poor in spirit," the humble and the meek...those who
have attained the first Beatitude, then we have given it to Christ.
And this makes us deserving of the kingdom of God. If giving to
those who have attained only the first Beatitude makes us deserving
of the kingdom of God, how much more if we give to those who have
attained the heights of the Beatitudes.
Now, who are the "hungry and
thirsty" and how do we feed them? St. Jerome was clear when he
said that this does not refer to physical hunger and thirst. It
refers to a thirst for holiness, a hunger for knowledge on how to be
saved, a hunger to know how to please God. And how do we feed them?
Showing them by example how to be holy, how to follow Christ, how to
please God. That is feeding the hungry that will put us on the right
side amongst the sheep.
We must give physical food and
drink, indeed, to the hungry and thirsty. But this is not enough to
save our souls because this is not the kind of feeding that Christ
would refer to in the Last Judgment. We must also give food and
drink to the proud and to those who are disobedient to the commands
of Christ. But this is not the act which Christ considered as being
done to Him.