It's the Little Things That Count
Solemnity of Christ the King
November 26, 2023
Our gospel from Matthew (25:31-46) this Sunday shows us our future, and it is closer than we think. In this scene, everyone on earth has already gone through their individual judgment and life review. All know whether they are going to heaven or hell. Purgatory has ended. This first judgment is called the "particular judgment." Now it is the end of the world and all of humanity are standing around the throne of Christ. People of every time and place, nation and culture, religion and language - all arranged in groups. This is called the general judgment and it is where God explains to all of humanity, all at once, the effect that everyone's life had on each other, all the threads of human history, all the ways in which God cared for his people and why things happen the way they did and all the links in the chain that you were a part of in the lives of others.
Which group will we be in? We will be grouped as Americans; we will also be with people of our own time. Imagine that among all the nations that have ever lived, this was the very time and location where God placed us and gave us a task in life. We might also be in other groups simultaneously such as, perhaps, with our church or work. groups, family groups, and many others. I imagine this to be a multidimensional sphere all arranged around the throne of Christ at the center, while he explains everything to all of us, all at once, and we will grasp everything, all at once. But why wait until the end of the world for him to explain everything when so much of it is known already through the Scriptures? Why be surprised?
Everything that we do on earth has an eternal dimension. One group, the goats, get a punishment that never ceases while the sheep receive paradise that never ends. People will discover that life was a test and it was often the little things that counted most. Christ came in disguise under many forms, often unrecognized. When visiting a sick relative, it was really Christ. Who knew? You gave a coat to someone in need, but it was Christ who picked it up. You were kind to someone in the grocery store when you did not feel good and will be surprised to find that this small act of kindness had a chain
of reaction far beyond what you could have imagined. One thing leads to another.
Those being condemned will say, "Oh Lord, if only we had known it was YOU we would certainly have been kinder to you!" And he will say, "But that was exactly the point/ you didn't know it was me, but if you had listened to the scriptures and your heart, you would have known." Every act of kindness or a sacrifice for others, always, it is Christ in disguise. We call them corporal works of mercy, and they will last forever.
Father Gary .