Fr. Voigt, "Reflections on the General Judgment"No one can escape the general judgment. Death knows no exceptions and once that moment comes to us we will undergo the particular judgment. Judgment means that justice will be done and there is no escape. So the Church focuses our meditation this Sunday on the General Judgment which will reveal to the whole of creation our particular response to the call of Christ. Three aspects of that judgment ought to be noted by every soul seeking the kingdom of heaven: (1) our appearance, (2) the witnesses and (3) the sentence.
When that moment comes the trumpets will blare and all souls will be joined to their bodies to face the judgment seat of the Lamb of God. What will we look like? If we are coming from hell, our figure will be dark and foreboding. There will be no light in us. There will be no love in us. For those who rejected the Light of the World and the divine Love that redeems there will be only ugliness and foulness of tongue. They will be known by the "wailing and gnashing of teeth." Their soul will desire separation from all that is good; all that is holy. They will be seen as the true goats of humanity. They had their pleasures in this world and now are condemned to the pains of eternal loss and eternal regret. They are creatures of hell fire.
Whereas those who have found Light and Love in the Second Person of the Holy Trinity will arrive at the judgment seat of God to receive the reward of their decision. They desired sanctity and that holiness exudes in a brilliant light which infuses their entire being. Not only does this light encompass their bodies but there is an odor of divine freshness. Songs delight the souls of the just and there is a sense of family that cannot be destroyed by any evil. In fact, the saints are secure in their eternal life and no sin can be found in them.
What a magnificent sight but what a "pain" for those who now must recognize that these who were thought to be foolish by the worldlings; now their wisdom is proven by an act of God's justice.
Three witnesses testify to the justice of the Judgment of God. First, the witness of the soul's conscience presents the good or evil works of thought, word and deed. No one can escape his own witness which reveals the tenor of life. Second, the very walls of our surroundings will testify to our judgment. Finally, Our Lord Jesus Christ will be there to testify against us or for us. We will certainly know ourselves as God knows us and we will without argument go to our own spot whether that be in heaven or hell.
With the judgment of every soul complete, the separation will be quite clear and the Lord will say to those on His right: "Well done, good and faithful servants, because you have been faithful enter into the joy of your master."
These will joyously enter their abode of divine love which will be far more glorious than anything one can think or imagine. The damned will see the just depart and that alone will be an eternal torment to them. They will curse themselves saying: "I could have saved my soul." Then when the Lord turns to them they will hear those awful words: "Depart from Me, thou cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Upon those
words the General Judgment is complete.
Dear brothers and sisters Christmas is approaching and we must determine our destiny by committing ourselves to seek heaven. Three reflections help us in our preparation for this earth shattering event: (1) emptiness of a simple reed which when the breathe of man passes through a melody of divine love sings to a waiting world; (2) emptiness of a waiting chalice which seeks the Blood of the Lamb to crush the serpent's venom and (3) emptiness of a nest which is prepared for the approaching babe of Bethlehem for upon its straw the Savior of the World finds His chosen place.
Empty thyself and prepare for the kingdom of God and let none of the tribulations disturb you for God has all in His
In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Richard Voigt