Sermons

Summary: Explaining the Scripture, the Catechism says that the Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.

There was a little boy named Kevin who went out with his grandpa one Saturday morning to get some breakfast. They climbed into grandpa’s pickup truck, and down the road they went. On the way, grandpa turned to Kevin and asked, “Which way is heaven?” Kevin pointed to the sky. Then grandpa said, “Which way is hell?” Kevin pointed to the floorboard of the truck. Grandpa continued, “And where are you going?”

“Dunkin’ Donuts!” Kevin replied.

Jesus wants us to know what the General Judgment will be like so we know how to live on this earth to prepare for it.

The Catechism says that the Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.

As a young child, Mother Teresa was learning about the Gospel from her mother and was given a simple reminder about how the entire Gospel can be summarized on five fingers. Her mother held up her five fingers and counted off a word on each one:

“You. Did. It. To Me.” That “Five Finger Gospel” stuck with Mother Teresa, keeping her focused on what God wanted for her, and continued to define her life and everything she did.

In 1987, Mother Teresa visited San Quentin’s death row section. She turned to a nearby sergeant in reference to a particular inmate and said for all to hear: “What you do to this man, you do to God.”

The rejection of the goats was not based on what they did, but on what they failed to do. It was a sin of omission.

Archbishop Charles Chaput said, “I’ve said many times over many years that if we ignore the poor, we will go to hell, literally.

Back then, Shepherds knew that when sheep grazed, they would eat grass and the grass would regrow, but goats pull out the grass by the roots so there was nothing left to grow in the future, so goats thus became a symbol of selfishness.

In his book You Did It To Me, Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, describes an initiative he and friends founded in college. Realizing that they had limited resources and couldn’t give to the poor, they decided to give up soft drinks instead, and use the money they spent every day on soda for the poor.

There is an ancient legend among the Jews that while the Israelites were wandering in the desert, they decided to ask God for dinner. Their leader, Moses, explained that God is not a physical being and so He does not eat. But when Moses went up on the mountain to talk with God, God said to him that He would accept the Israelites’ dinner invitation.

All the next day, the Israelites prepared dinner for God. An old man, poor and hungry, arrived and wandered around looking at the preparations, but the Israelites were too busy and distracted to attend to him. That evening, the Israelites looked for God, but they did not see Him. The next morning Moses went back up the mountain and asked God why He had not come for dinner. God replied, “I did come, if you had fed the old man, you would have fed Me.”

We will be judged by God on charity; he requires our openness, our free and concrete response. To become self-actualized requires one to participate in the lives and needs of others.

It’s a grace to live in this world with an expectation of “the End,” which is the Last Judgement—time is linear, moving in one direction towards the culmination of history in God. After the General Judgement when the sheep and goats are separated, only heaven and hell remain. However, we already know our destiny to either heaven or hell through our individual judgements after we die.

A writer arrived at the monastery to write a book about the Master. "People say you are a genius . Are you?" he asked. "You might say so." said the Master, none too modestly. "And what makes one a genius?" "The ability to recognize." "Recognize what?" "The butterfly in a caterpillar: the eagle in an egg; the saint in a selfish human being."

Amen.

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Anthony Coppola

commented on Nov 22, 2020

This is really wonderful. The opening story ties into the whole final destiny as you mentioned. The mention of Mother Teresa and the symbolism of the sheep and the goats. Thank you for a great inspiration for me. Anthony

Paul Andrew

commented on Nov 22, 2020

Anthony, providence arranged that intro and the concluding thought, you are indeed right! They do bookend. You have a good eye, and comprehension. Thanks for pointing that out.

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