Children studying in school have to time and again undergo a particular experience: The experience of facing their parents with the report card of their examinations, to get it signed.
The report card has a particular column, which requires the parent or the guardian of the child, to assess the marks card and then put in the signature of approval.
It’s interesting to note the varied experience of children before getting the report signed….
Those children who have done well and are confident of having performed up to the expectation of the parent, stay fearless and secure.
>> They remain cheerful, joyous and unafraid!
Those children who are not sure, what would be the reaction of the parents, undergo a tremendous level of anxiety and nervousness
>> They remain apprehensive, tense and uneasy!
Those children who know that they have performed extremely badly and are guilty of having let down the expectations of their parents, experience higher levels of guilt and misery and some even casualness or indifference!
>> They remain distressed, listless and remorseful.
This experience for the children is similar to a “trial of judgement”
The Gospel of the Day presents the scene of the Last Judgment…
And probably, before the throne of Judgement, the people of the world would also be going similar feelings as that of the children waiting with the report card – feelings of cheerfulness or apprehensiveness or remorsefulness etc..
The passage presents the Son of Man seated in His majestic and awesome glory and all the nations awaiting His judgement. (Mt 25: 31-32)
The sheep, placed on the right side, are the chosen ones to enjoy the bliss of the Kingdom.
>> The goats, placed on the left side, are the condemned ones to suffer the fire of punishment.
One of the important aspects to be observed in this passage of the scene of the Last Judgement is the manner in which the Lord looks at human actions…
The Bible says, “Humans look on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7)
One of the common question that both the groups, the sheep as well the goats, posed was: “When did we know…”
The sheep were taken by surprise, at the occasions which the Lord found them doing good…
>> They remained unaware of those situations, though they did the good in God’s sight.
>> They remained unaware of those occasions, though they did the needful in God’s sight.
The goats are taken by surprise, at the occasions, which the Lord found them missing to do good…
>> They remained unaware of those situations, where they failed to do the good in God’s sight.
>> They remained unaware of those occasions, where they missed to do the needful in God’s sight.
> We may not realise the occasions of doing good…
>> We may not realise the occasions of having missed doing good…
We may externally engage in many good works, but it may fail to find approval in the Lord’s sight.
>> This calls for cultivation of an inner disposition to do good.
>> This calls for building of an inner character to be charitable.
Ø From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks…
Ø From the abundance of goodness within, good actions flow…
Ø From the abundance of kindness within, kind conduct emerges…
Ø From the abundance of love within, charitable behaviours proceed…
Let this season of Lent be an occasion to grow in cultivating love deep within.
>> Let this season of Lent be a time of forming a character of goodness and kindness.
The Day of Judgement is certainly to be a glorious one…
If we fail to build up a character of goodness and charity, we may go through feelings of anxiety or fear or even dread!
>> But trusting in the mercy and compassion of the Lord, let us, as the little children of our Heavenly Father, be hopeful and confident!
Let’s prepare ourselves well, to be optimistic in getting the Report Card of our Life, signed with approval, by our Heavenly Father!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ Put aside all anxious thoughts…
… and be at peace!”