The univer­sal judg­ment

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINION - ARNOLD VAN VUGT

THE Gospel of last Sun­day Ma­teo 25:31-46 said: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his an­gels, he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the na­tions will be brought be­fore him, and as a shep­herd sep­a­rates the sheep from the goats, so he will do with them, plac­ing the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left… .”

We know that Chris­tians are a mi­nor­ity in the world. As we do know, the Jews won­dered about the ma­jor­ity of na­tions in the world, who were not among the Cho­sen Peo­ple and did not know about God or his prom­ises. The Jews en­vi­sioned a huge mul­ti­tude, ready to ‘de­vour them’a rest­less world where God should one day im­pose his Law. They used to call them the na­tions.

Je­sus goes be­yond these nar­row per­spec­tives and shows how he will judge ev­ery­one, mak­ing no dis­tinc­tions based on ori­gins when he comes as king of all na­tions. All those who, with­out know­ing Christ, have shared in the com­mon des­tiny of hu­mankind, will be judged by him. In fact, he never aban­doned them, but placed at their side ‘those lit­tle ones who are his broth­ers and sis­ters’, as his rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

See, Christ re­veals the in­nu­mer­able hu­man deeds that have built what is best in our civ­i­liza­tion, and peo­ple brought be­fore him with amaze­ment at the God whom they loved. Al­though the ma­jor­ity of them never thought of the af­ter­life, the king­dom of God is pre­sented to them with its only law: Love.

There is no neu­tral place. The fire means the tor­ment of those who con­demned them­selves by clos­ing and freez­ing their hearts so that they be­came in­ca­pable of love: now the splen­dor of God, who is love, burns and pains them.

When­ever you did this to these lit­tle ones who are my broth­ers and sis­ters (v. 40). Je­sus speaks of look­ing af­ter our neigh­bor, be he friend or foe, not of serv­ing the com­mu­nity, or a class, or a nation in gen­eral, be­cause us­ing these words, we of­ten ex­clude a group of our broth­ers and sis­ters, who do not be­long to our nation or to our class. On the other hand, one who re­ally loves, ac­knowl­edges his sis­ters and broth­ers with­out giv­ing too much im­por­tance to any la­bels: it is the person who ex­ists and lives for God.

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