Gospel Reading March 6th

(Matthew 25:31-46)

In this parable of the Last Judgement, we read that when the Son of Man comes in His glory with all of His angels and sits upon His glorious throne, He will gather before Him all the nations and separate them one from another to His left and right. This tells us that every individual person will give an account of his or her life at the end of the ages.

The Lord says that He will sit there as King and He will say to those on His right hand: “Come, blessed of my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from before the foundation of the world” (v. 34). He lists reasons why they are inheriting the kingdom, such as feeding Him when He was hungry, and visiting Him when He was sick. Those who will be saved then ask Him: “When did we actually see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or naked or sick or imprisoned?” (v. 37-39). Then the King, Christ, will answer: “Truly, I say to you as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (v. 40).

Now when He speaks to those on the left He says the same words but in a negative way: “I was hungry and you did not feed me. Thirsty, but you did not give me drink” (v. 42).

Our final judgment depends on how we treat people. The judgment ultimately is love. Did we love our neighbour and our enemy? That is because the great and holy commandment is that we love the Lord our God with our entire mind, all our heart, all our soul and all our strength. And then the second great commandment that goes with it is that we love our neighbour as being our very own self (Mat 22:37-39). In other words, we find Christ and ultimately ourselves, in our neighbour.

As St John Chrysostom said of the Last Judgment, there is: “no judge, no jury, no prosecuting attorney, no defense lawyer—just Christ and me.” Christ and us. And we will be asked: “Were your acts of righteousness, your good deeds, filled with love? Were they done out of love? Because if they were done to the least, lowliest human being,” God almighty says to us in the Person of his Son, Jesus, “then they were done to me” (v. 40)!


Source: February – March Lychnos Edition 2016