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The final judgment

The story is told about an elderly man who had eight strands of hair left on his head. He went to a barbershop and the barber jokingly asked him, “Shall I count or cut your hair?” The old man smiled and said, “Nope! Separate the strands and color them one by one!”

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Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the universe. In today’s Gospel (Mt. 25, 31-46), we hear that the Son of Man will come at the end of time, and will separate nations, one from another, as a shepherd separates sheep from goats on the basis of what they have or have not done to the least, the last and the lost. There will be a final judgment where the good will be rewarded and the bad will be punished. Our true colors will come out on that day. Yes, there will be a final reckoning, and a final revelation.

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Does the final judgment give you hope? Or does it give you fear? The last line of The Creed says: “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.” Our basic attitude should be that of hope in God’s mercy, and gratitude that we finally will obtain justice.

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Personally, I look forward to that day where peace and justice will finally come. Many of us who have been misunderstood, maligned, accused and misjudged, will finally be vindicated. Our accusers will be put to shame and will reap the fruits of their malice and sins.

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“Come!” How wonderful it would be to hear that word from Christ, the King, when we finally see Him! “Depart!” How dreadful it would be to hear that word from our King! While we are still alive, let us live in such a way that we will finally hear Christ, our King, say to us: “Come, you who are blessed by My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

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Take note that the final judgment will be based on what we did or did not do for the Lord, which, in turn, is based on what we did or did not do for the least of our brothers and sisters. When the time comes, will we be filled with regret that we did not see the Lord in everyone, especially in the “little ones”? May the Lord grant us the grace to become aware of His presence in everyone. May we become aware, too, of His presence in Mother Nature, and may we respect, protect and nourish it, for our King is also the King of all creation, of the universe itself!

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In a recent retreat for young people in which I officiated, I realized how much we need to connect with the youth. Otherwise, there will come a time when God’s word may become irrelevant to them. We must learn from them, and really listen to what they are or are not saying. The youth can be considered one of the “least” in Jesus’ list.

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The basic pain of many young people is caused by their parents. Controlling parents, or, on the other extreme, uncaring parents inflict so much hurt that affects the children. Let us not belittle or ignore the little ones. We adults also have much to learn from them.

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Praise God for Pope Francis, who connects very well with the youth by his words and by his life example. We look forward to his visit to our country in January. May his encounter with us, especially our youth, be a source of renewal and hope for our nation and for our people.

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Allow me to share a very timely piece of advice for us, the elder ones, from the theologian Monsignor Biffi commenting on a homily by St. Bede the Venerable: “Don’t covet earthly things; don’t seek ephemeral gains; flee all cheap honors; voluntarily embrace all that the world despises for heavenly glory; be a joy to all; love injuries and do not injure anyone; support with patience whatever you receive; always search for the glory of the Creator and never your own; practicing these things and others like them means following in the footsteps of Christ.”

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Christ the King Mission Seminary on E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, is celebrating the 80th year of the establishment of its first academic SVD community (1934), and the 55th year of the consecration of its beautiful shrine (1959). We pay tribute to the first generation of SVD missionaries who came to our country in 1909, especially Fr. Theodore Buttenbruch, the German founder of the seminary. Their vision, hard work and dedication, and sacrifice have borne fruit, and with the help and guidance of Christ the King, may they continue to bear fruit for many more generations.

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “The Future of Aging” at Arnold Janssen Hall, Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City, on Nov. 29, 9 a.m.-12 noon. For inquiries, please call 3732262, 9982548, or 09174167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to live in such a way that I will face the final judgment, not with fear, but with hope. Amen.

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TAGS: 31-46, Bantay Matanda, Christ, Christ the King Mission Seminary, final judgment, final revelation, Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, God’s mercy, Gospel, Moments, Mt. 25, peace and justice, Pope Francis, retreat, Son of Man, The Creed
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