The Fourth Triumphant Mystery:
The Final Judgement
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory... 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..."
READING The Mystery in HOLY Scripture
Matthew 25:31-46, New American Bible, USCCB.org
“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. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Additional Reading from Revelation 20:11-15, New American Bible, USCCB.org
Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death.) Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.
Meditating on the Mystery: Place Yourself IN the Scene
(Using your imagination, try to put yourself in the scene…)
We stand behind our brother John, you and I, trembling with fear. The battle we witnessed was too much to bear. All was quiet for a moment … and we, too, dare not speak. Who is blameless in God’s sight? Who is without sin? Certainly not I.
The Lord places us on his right. We do not know what this means at first. He turns to us, with merciful and loving eyes, and thanks us for caring for him during our lives. “Come,” he says, “you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
But how can this be, for us, as lowly sinners? A kingdom? For you? For me?
Our Lord sees the questions in our eyes, and says “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.”
We recall the small kindnesses that we did for others, especially the ones that were difficult to accomplish. We appreciate Our Lord thanking us for these, and for seeing them as service to himself. But we know, in our hearts, that our actions were not sufficient to save our souls. While we cooperated with his grace, we did not merit it. It was given to us, as a gift. How blessed are we that it was given. How fortunate are we that we accepted it.