Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Be watchful, pray constantly, that you may be worthy to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36). No message has more practical value. November is the month that the Church stresses these final realities.

When will the end of the world come? Often we hear people quoting Scriptural passages, which predict the end of the world. But, we simply do not have these answers. Our Lord tells: "As to the exact day or hour, no one knows it, neither the angels in heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father." Our Lord is warning us that there will be a Judgment Day when we will have to give an account of our lives. Prepare for Judgment Day! Live Catholic faith, morality and liturgy! Do not remain in the state of mortal sin! Instead, live a virtuous life.

The Catechism is quite clear: "Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching. Then the conduct of each and the secrets of hearts will be brought to light. Then the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing will be condemned. Our attitude about our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love. On the last day Jesus will say: `Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'

"Christ is the Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to Him as Redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by the cross. The Father has given `all judgment to the Son.' Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life He has in Himself. By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love" (N. 678 & 679).

On the last day, "Men will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory." All men, from Adam to the last man, will be reunited with their bodies; the sins of all will be laid bare. The time of mercy will have come to a close; then, it will be the time of Divine Justice. In the final analysis, everyone will give glory to God. The condemned will give glory to God because of His infinite justice and the saved will give glory to God because of His Infinite Mercy. Finally, the angels will separate "the sheep from the goats."

Everyone is tempted to sin. In making the choice between doing good and evil, the man of God always weights his actions in terms of eternity. Is this or that particular sin worth an eternity of separation from God? The "bottom line" is not profit or loss in a monetary sense. The "bottom line" is the joy of heaven as opposed to the utter anguish of hell for all eternity. No sin is worth it!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


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