The Sunday of the Last Judgment
The Sunday of the Last Judgment
1- Did you know that the Sunday of the Last Judgment is Meatfare Sunday when we refrain from eating meat in the hope to stop biting each other?
St. John Chrysostom says: "It is nice to deprive yourself of the meat of birds and animals, but woe to those who continue to eat the meat of their brethren."
Christianity is our love for the other because Christ is in every one of us.
Christianity speaks not only of spiritual life but of life as a whole, where body and spirit coalesce in a kingdom pilgrimage to the first Paradise state that was before the fall of the human being, where the first two forefathers were at peace with all the creatures on earth.
In the Triodion Period, the Church invites us to restore our first condition of peace with God, the other, and ourselves.
2- Did you know what the term "Son of Man" in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ about the Last Judgment means?
“The Son of Man” is the Just Judge in the vision of Prophet Daniel coming on clouds, and worshipped by all peoples (Daniel 13:7). It is a picture of the Messiah, who is worshiped by all peoples. From here, we notice in the Gospel of this Sunday that the "Son of Man" is addressed as "O Lord."
This designation also corresponds to the nickname "Son of God." The Lord says: “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 27:1).
The designation of “Son of God” is not understood in the human sense, far from it, but rather indicates that Christ is God incarnate, Consubstantial with God the Father and God the Spirit, and they are one God in three Persons. Just like the luminous candle that gives light, fire, and heat, still not separate and there is no difference in time between them.
This essential designation "Son of God" has a very important theological meaning in the Christian faith, and it was manifested by the appearance of God in the body, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ.
3-Did you know that the Lord Jesus is called “Son of God” because He is the Messiah and fulfills all prophecies?
The Chief of the Synagogue got mad and tore his clothes when he asked Jesus: “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14: 61-63).
This answer was considered as blasphemy because Jesus applied to Himself the vision of Prophet Daniel (Daniel 7:13), making himself equal to God.
The words addressed by the Lord to the Scribes: “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:2-7) and to the Paralytic, “your sins are forgiven”, were to confirm the divinity of the Son of Man, because only God can forgive sins.
There are other examples:
-The dialogue with Nicodemus: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13).
-The verse: For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8). It is well known that God is the Lord of the Sabbath.
4-Do you know the meaning of the term "throne of His glory"?
The word "glory" with its supreme root means "weight", and designates a person who has importance. The person's weight is never separated from them. Their very presence is weight. God's glory is not separated from His light, greatness, and kingdom.
The throne here is the place where the person in power, i.e. the king, has the exclusive right to be seated. From the throne, judgments are issued, as it is the highest position that allows a full view to the one upon it since he is the observer, the overseer who cuts in a straight line the word of truth.
In the church, we notice the icon of Christ the High Priest on the throne designated for the bishop. The bishop is the icon of Christ in the Church among his children the faithful.
5- Did you know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd?
Jesus stood in the midst of the people and said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 11:10).
The Lord linked the shepherd’s work to self-sacrifice, that is, to redemption, so He likened Himself to a Shepherd.
This wonderful analogy refers to one who watches over his sheep and knows them individually. The sheep know his voice and follow him, while he protects them from cunning foxes.
We have a beautiful icon of Christ called the Good Shepherd ὁ Ποιμὴν ὁ καλός.
Since the Old Testament, the Lord has been shouting and saying: “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:1), and that He will punish the shepherds who did not ask for His sheep, but were occupied with themselves, “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock” (Ezekiel 34:8).
6- Did you know that Christ was incarnate because he loves each one of us and that we will be held accountable for the love that we take from him and translate into actions?
Saint Basil the Great (337-330 A.D) says: “The one whom we help with sincere love will intercede for us in Heaven.”
Christianity is this other person. In the presence of giving, our nakedness is revealed, our weakness is exposed, our selfishness is stripped, our egocentrism and our self-esteem are shown, and all these end up with insensitivity.
The Holy Fathers unanimously agree that insensitivity is the fall of humanity; we not only lose our five senses but also become a lifeless corpse, as we are locked in the prison that lacks he from God and the sinner.
On the day of terrible judgment, we are the ones who judge ourselves. We are held accountable not only for what we did but for the amount of love that we were able to offer but refrained. Let no one boast about their actions since before the passionate love of Jesus, the limitations of our own love are exposed.
7- Did you know why the Lord likened the righteous (the blessed) to the sheep, and the wicked (the cursed) to the goats?
The Lord used images from the human environment to intertwine depth and simplicity. So it is necessary to dive into their meanings.
The goat is an image of a lecherous person, insatiable with food, sex, and disobedience. The Greek word indicates a young goat. The male goat is a buck and the baby goat is a kid. The male sheep is the ram, the female is a ewe, and the young are the lamb.
Sheep are meek, unlike goats that are fierce and aggressive.
The goat looks down at the soil, but the lamb has its head raised as if the goats represent the person with earthly desires, while the sheep represent the person who aspires to the heavens.
Moreover, the sheep warm each other, as each of them leans his head against the other, and goats do not. This is an image of the community.