Four Last Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell
One very important theme we can draw from today’s Mass is that Jesus is the Lord of life. Life that isn’t ended by physical death, contrary to what the Sadducee’s believed. But this truth is a such a central truth, we must consider its import for how we live our lives.
We know or at least we hope Heaven is real and that we’ll get there. We’re taught that hell is real, but we hope it isn’t, except for the folks we hate. We’ve heard there is such a thing as Purgatory but since we don’t understand it, we try not to think about it, much, unless we’re invited to pray for the souls in purgatory and since we have loved ones who have died, on the off chance this matters, we are willing to pray for them.
We don’t really like to talk about death and dying, even though we all know that moment will come for all of us. It’s uncomfortable. It forces us to consider our own mortality, choices, and salvation. It also forces us to consider the future and past loss of loved ones. It may not be fun to think or talk about. But we must.
Let’s not forget the Final Judgement…
There will be a resurrection of all, as St. Paul explains in 1st Corinthians 15. Those who have been faithful to Christ will rise glorious, their bodies transformed on the model of the risen body of Christ. Jesus will come at the end of time to judge all human beings. This is called the parousia, His second coming. It was foretold by the angels as He ascended into heaven: "This Jesus who is taken up from you to heaven, will come in the way in which you saw Him going into heaven". Acts 1:11 The general judgment at the end of time simply solemnly confirms the particular judgments of each person, with the difference that then the body as well as the soul will receive what is due.
If we were asked, what is really our ultimate concern, on what really do we base our lives, what would we say?
Our relationship with God must be our ultimate concern.
Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.