Father Rodney Torbic

January 29 / February 11, 2018

The Sunday of the Last Judgment

Matthew 25:31-46

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)

The Lord Jesus Christ is going to return. Each day is a day closer to the final judgment. Each day is an opportunity to prepare. Each day is a blessing from God. The time of life comes only once. The time of life cannot be reclaimed.

Wise individuals use the time of life as a precious blessing from God. The time of life is best invested in the Kingdom of God. Some individuals waste the time of life. Others try to make good use of it.

Always, it is wise to give thanks to God for His blessings. Always it is wise to remember Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. We are reminded of the final judgment each time the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is recited.

Everyone will appear before Christ. No one will escape judgment. Everyone will have to account for his or her life. Jesus said: “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” (Mt. 12:36)

Great care must be taken each day as not to tarnish the soul or put it in peril. Knowing that we will appear for judgment is a motivation to try to live in ways pleasing to God.

Praying to God when making daily decisions and contemplating daily actions is always a sound practice. Staying close to God and the ways of God are the safest paths to take.

The Lord Jesus Christ is discerning. He knows the differences among individuals. Jesus said: “I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” (Jn. 10:14) Believers seeking to nourish their soul will seek Christ.

Believers seeking the Kingdom of God will follow Christ and heed His teachings. Sin is to be contended with throughout each day and throughout life. Christ enables believers to develop and remain united with Him.

The decisions individuals make each day determines the way they will be treated when Christ returns. Repentance helps believers to move forward in unity with Christ.

Repentance helps believers experience unity with Christ and gives a foretaste of God’s Kingdom. The present Gospel makes it very clear our daily relationships determine the way we will spend eternity.

If we are careless and uncaring in daily life with others, we cannot be optimistic about the final judgment. The good and bad we do have a cumulative effect. Love always has a place in everything we do. (I Cor. 13:8)

Jesus invites individuals to follow Him throughout life. Faithful followers are careful in daily relationships. Christians are attentive to the sick, the suffering, the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger and the imprisoned.

When we have failed to follow Christ and have sinned, it is necessary to truly repent. Sincere confession makes a difference. The “good thief” on the cross made a decision favorable to Christ in the last moments of his life.

The decision to draw near to Christ had lasting benefits for the “good thief.” Jesus told him: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Lk. 23:39-43). We never know when we will take our last breath.

We never know when Christ will return. It is important to always be prepared. Jesus said: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Mt. 25:13)

We meet many individuals in daily life. We are in contact with family, with friends, co-workers and other individuals known or unknown. People may approach us on the street or come knocking at the door.

They may call by telephone or write to us. Friends or co-workers may refer needy individuals to us. Christ knows our response to each needy person. Christ will judge us based on that response.

We must be careful not to become hardened. We benefit when recognizing Christ in the sick, the suffering, the hungry, thirsty and imprisoned. May Christ be our guide and standard in every relationship.

January 29 / February 11, 2018.
No.14. The Sunday of the Last Judgment.
Transfer of the Relics of St. Ignatius the God-bearer.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

Back to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels - Home Page