Too Few Witnesses ©
Trinity, if it is your will, Jesus please return in glory today,
bring your justice to this world, and have mercy on us sinners.
Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
“Our tainted nature’s solitary boast” as poet William Wordsworth spoke of Mary. Mary is the perfect creation of Almighty God. Beautiful sunrises, breathtaking sunsets, and all the creativity of human energies in between fail in comparison with Mary. Our humble attempt to describe the many qualities and attributes of Our Lady in her Litany, surely fall short of those known to Almighty God. Mary as it pleases you, we humbly ask for your continued intercession for a weak and sinful humanity. Saint Juan Diego, please pray for us.
—CCC, no. 1040
Immediately after death, each person comes before God and is judged
individually (the particular judgment) and enters heaven, Purgatory, or
hell. Yet at the end of time when Christ returns in glory, a final judgment
will occur when all are raised from the dead and assembled before God;
then their relationship to him is made public (the general judgment).
The judgment scene in the Gospel of Matthew is perhaps the most
accessible way to appreciate the Last Judgment.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Mt 25:31-32).
The sheep will inherit the Kingdom of
God. The goats will be sent to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and
his angels. In this parable, the criteria for being saved are described as
whether one fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, welcomed the
stranger, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, and visited the prisoners.
In each of these cases, it is Jesus himself who is thus treated.
“Whatever you did for these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).
If we care for Jesus in these ways, we will receive the Kingdom.
If we do not, we will be separated from him forever.
The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory.
Only the Father knows the day and the hour. . . . Christ . . .
will pronounce the final word on all history [making clear]
the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the
entire economy of salvation. . . . The Last Judgment will reveal
that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by
his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death. (CCC, no. 1040)