THE LAST JUDGMENT (Christ the
The feast of Christ the King is the end
of the Catholic Liturgical calendar. We begin the liturgical
calendar again with the first Sunday of Advent.
The feast reminds us of the end
times when Christ would come, no longer in a humble form as on
Christmas day but in all His glory as a Divine Judge. And the
sequence of events goes this way. The Christians who have obeyed all
His commands will go and meet Christ in the sky to come down and
judge the world. Then there are those who would be assembled on the
right hand of Christ, called sheep. Then those who would be on the
left, called goats.
Those who will not die and simply
rise up in the sky to meet Christ are those Christians who have
learned all the commands of Christ and have obeyed them perfectly.
In their lives they always sought what pleased God and did it.
Those that will be on the right
side, the sheep, are those Christians who did not learn all the
commands of Christ but obeyed to the best of their abilities what
they knew. They always sought what pleases God but did not quite
discover everything that pleases God. They are, likewise, those
non-Christians who also sought to please God in all things but did
not quite learn what pleases God. What made them both sheep is the
fact that in their lives they sought earnestly what pleases God
though they did not succeed all the time in knowing what this
The goats, those on the left side,
are those who always choose what pleases themselves rather than what
All the three, the perfectly
obedient Christian, the sheep and the goats were all once upon a
time sinners. But none of them would be judged based on their sins.
The goats were condemned, not because they were adulterers,
fornicators or murderers...but because they lacked of good works.
Good works, accompanied with prayer and self-denial, sort of erases
past sins. So the sheep, because of their good works, had their sins
erased; while the goats, because they had no good works, had no
eraser for their sins. The goats' crime is the absence of an eraser
which is easily available to all.
The mercy of God consists in that
He had given us beforehand the criteria by which we shall be judged.
Why, that is like giving the students the test questions before an
exam. Anyone who does not work on these really deserves to be
punished due to his negligence.
Those who will rise up to meet
Christ are saved due to their obedience to all the commands of
Christ. But how are the sheep saved when they have not obeyed all
the commands due to their ignorance of the complete teachings of
Christ? Christ said, "As long as you did it to one of these the
least of my brethren..." And who are the brethren of Christ?
Those who have obeyed the commands of God.
So the sheep on the right hand are
those who have performed good works on someone who is obeying the
commands of Christ. When God sees a sheep (whom Scriptures described
as outside the fold but belong to Christ, or the wounded and
diseased sheep or the lost sheep) He sends a saint to be a recipient
of his good works. Or, St. Paul says, God sends sometimes an angel
to be the recipient of the sheep's good works. It is for doing good
works for such angels or saints that these sheep are saved. (Note:
the lost sheep is not the Christian sinner who keeps on doing his
will rather than God's will. Such is called a goat.)
The sheep, whose knowledge is
imperfect, would ask: "When did we see you hungry?" Christ
answers: "When I sent this holy man to you. For who is my
father and mother and brethren--those who keep my commands, the
saints. Whatever you did for the saints you did it to me."