The Last Sunday after Pentecost
At this judgment each soul will stand before God and the rest of mankind, to have his entire life exposed every thought, word, deed, and omission. And then when God pronounces the judgment, all of mankind will see and know that He is just.
If sinners would only consider that their crimes which they are so ashamed of and which they work so hard to hide from the eyes of men, are not hidden from God and will be revealed to everyone on the last day, how different their lives would be.
How terrible is the shame, confusion, and humiliation. But, how much more terrible will it be to behold the face of God as He passes a judgment of damnation. God, Whose face we were created to behold for all of eternity. That face that was to be a source of happiness and consolation is turned into a terror for the damned. This is the last time that they will ever see Him. And this terrifying image will be with them for all of eternity. They will never be able to put it out of their minds _ not even for an instant.
These damned souls will be cast into Hell where they will never see God. Their whole being was created for only one purpose _ to spend all of eternity in the presence of God _ but, now they cannot. Their bodies are now united to their souls and will suffer with them. They still have this tendency toward God but, they are repulsed by Him. And because they are repulsed by Him they now hate Him. They hate Him Whom they were made to love. The very one that gave them existence. And they hate themselves because they know that their misery has been brought upon themselves through their own fault. They hate the saints in Heaven because they are envious of their blessedness. They hate the other souls in Hell who likewise suffer the same situation, because they can offer them no consolation or joy. There is not even any pleasure from being in the company of others. And there is no escaping from the physical suffering caused by the eternal fire, nor from the misery caused by the spiritual torment. Their suffering is never mitigated in the least. There is no sleep, or distraction; there is no forgetting even for a moment their own misery. There is no death to release them.
We must reflect upon these miseries now so that we will be moved to do all that is in our power to avoid them in the future. How are we to escape these eternal miseries? The majority of the world will be damned, and only a few will be saved. What can we do to be among the few that are chosen?
In the Gospels from these past couple of weeks we have been shown parables concerning the Kingdom of Heaven and what we must do to enter. It is time now for us to reflect upon these Gospels and make certain that we make appropriate application of them to our own lives.
With the majority of the world on its way to Hell, it appears that it must be difficult to get to Heaven. And in one sense it is. The path to Hell is wide and pleasant, and the path to Heaven is narrow, rocky and steep. The path to Heaven requires of us to carry our crosses daily out of love for God.
On the other hand it seems that nothing could be easier. Once we accept that first grace to embrace and take up our crosses, then we will find that our crosses are not bitter but sweet, not heavy but light. Christ, Himself will come to our aid, He will lift us up, He will carry us to Heaven Himself.
Let us take that first step and give ourselves over to God. Let us deny ourselves and take up the cross. We all have something to suffer with here on earth, the difference between the damned and the saints, is that the saints accepted and patiently bore their suffering for the love of God. The damned refused to accept their crosses and constantly ran from them. In seeking to run from our crosses we only find larger ones awaiting us around the corner. And if we continue our entire lives always trying to avoid all that is bitter or difficult then we are certain to find the heaviest and bitterest cross waiting for us in Hell were we will never be able to avoid or ignore it.