Fr. Rodney's Sermon on the Sunday of the Last Judgment - Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.(KJV)
We are most blessed to have the Holy Gospel to learn directly from the Lord. We are blessed the Lord Jesus Christ took on human flesh and dwelt on earth.
The Lord Jesus Christ continues to be present in every human.
The current Gospel is a definitive reminder of the Lord’s presence until the Great and Second Glorious Coming. The relationships we have each day are the relationships we have with the Lord.
The Gospel vividly reminds believers to take great care in personal relationships. Each person is to be treated as the Lord Jesus Christ. The Final Judgment will consider the way each person is treated.
The way the sick, the suffering, the stranger and the imprisoned are treated will determine if eternal life or eternal punishment are experienced. Each believer is challenged to think very carefully about all relationships.
Daily life involves many different encounters with others. In the home, the workplace, in school and in the community, human interactions take place. More and more interactions take place in different forms of communication as well.
Believers reveal the contents of their hearts, minds and the depths of their souls in human interactions. A person’s true character becomes apparent to the Lord in the way other humans are treated.
The Holy Gospel serves to instruct believers with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Gospel unites believers with Jesus Christ. Attentive believers will cherish the nourishment derived from the Holy Gospel.
God’s Holy Church is moving with certainty toward Great Lent. The journey to Pascha is underway. Personal change for believers to reject the ways of sin and to become more like Christ is expected.
The journey to Pascha is totally voluntary. Loving and caring about Jesus Christ is not to be forced. Personal relationships with Jesus Christ involve force only in the use of forcefulness of the heart, mind and soul against sin.
Love dominates the relationship with Jesus Christ and each person. Each person is to reflect and personify the love of Jesus Christ in every relationship. No person is insignificant to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every person is created in the Lord’s image and likeness. (Gen.1:26) God’s Holy Church reminds believers with the present Gospel of each person’s importance.
The Gospel is clear about the importance of personal relationships.
The soul hungers for God and for eternal life. The present Gospel is a lasting lesson for eternal life. Today is the day to ask the Lord for help to improve daily relationships. Today is the day to reject judging other humans as being insignificant and unworthy of love and care. The present Gospel calls for heightened attention to daily interactions.
Love and attention for others are to be prevalent in daily thoughts and decisions. Parents are to be mindful of all of their children. Family members are to be thoughtful to each other.
Decisions at work, in the market place and on the street are to be viewed based on the present Gospel. Employees and employers are to be thoughtful of each other. Students and teachers are to be considerate of each other.
Community life is very complex. The Lord Jesus Christ simplifies the basis for personal relationships with the present Gospel. Treating each person as the Lord Jesus Christ will improve daily life and lead to life eternal.
God’s Holy Church is where to learn about eternal life. God’s Holy Church is where to experience the Lord’s teachings and love. The hunger of the soul is best addressed in God’s Holy Church.
Welcome the journey to Pascha with great enthusiasm. Welcome the opportunity for eternal life. Be grateful for the Lord’s love and teachings. With a whole and loving heart, mind and soul see the Lord in each person in life.
Meatfare Sunday. Holy Martyrs at the Gate of Eugenius. February 22/March 7, 2021. Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania. Father Rodney Torbic