The universal judgment
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.