THE LAST JUDGEMENT & ORTHODOXY
“When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’” (Mt 25: 31-36)
On this “Sunday of the Last Judgement,” also known as “Meatfare Sunday” (i.e., the last day that we eat meat, until Pascha or Easter), we are reminded that our Lord is to come again, “in His glory,” – and not in the “low key” way He came in Bethlehem. And when He comes “in His glory,” He will hold us accountable, for the way we treated one another in times of need. That is to say, He will either invite us to share in His eternal “glory” or goodness, if we opened up to sharing in it already in this life, by being good to one another; or He will establish our eternal separation from His “glory,” if we already separated ourselves from it here, by isolating ourselves from the needs of others.
God dignifies us, by holding us accountable, as His responsible creation. He has entrusted us with the invigorating responsibility (i.e., “response-ability”) of responding to His call, to share already in this life in His way of Being, which is “glory.” So let me open up to God’s “glory” today, and be part of it, whenever any small or great opportunity to do so comes my way. Maybe I can give a call to an elderly relative who would be happy to hear from me; or be welcoming to the stranger who wanders into church; or just smile a bit more at my loved ones; or cover their “nakedness” when they’re being embarrassing; or offer a friendly ear to someone stuck in any kind of “prison,” even if it’s just in his/her mind. Thank You, Lord, for calling us to share in the “right” kind of “glory,” or “Ortho-doxia,” which is our love for one another, in Your light. “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13: 35)