Jesus Christ, our merciful judge

Michelangelo, Giudizio Universale 02

Jesus Christ, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, is our Lord. He is the Word, or eternal wisdom of God, made flesh for our salvation. His creation is full of wonder as we discover through the hard intellectual work of the natural sciences. His love is everlasting and faithful: He is the Lord of history and of our own lives.

Our Lord explains the final judgement in simple but powerful terms by speaking of the sheep and the goats and how they are separated according to the works of mercy that they have carried out. He describes judgement not of intentions, or feelings, but of what we have actually done in practice to love others.

Certainly Our Lord is a merciful judge. He wills that everyone should be saved, and came down to earth and laid down His life to take away our sins and open the gates of heaven to us. We must humbly acknowledge that Our Lord is infinitely more merciful than we are, and that there will be many saved and in heaven now, whom we would probably have condemned.

At the last judgement, we will see the truth in all clarity. The greatest saint will see how little he is in comparison with the infinite love of Christ, and the greatest sinner will lament his petty and mean-spirited rejection of the glory that Christ held out to him.

As we consider the majesty of Christ the King and the final judgement which we shall face, we are moved to change our lives to reflect this awesome prospect. As we are to be judged by Christ and hope to spend eternity in the blissful worship of Him with all the saints, we should, here and now, order our lives in preparation.