Prophecy From a Catholic Perspective (24) – The Last Day


Continuing through the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it relates to prophecy:

678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching. Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light. Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God’s grace as nothing be condemned. Our attitude to our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love. On the Last Day Jesus will say: “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He “acquired” this right by his cross. The Father has given “all judgment to the Son”. Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself. By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.

The most sobering prospect regarding the prophetic passages pertaining to our future is not in the temporal trials and tribulations the Church will pass through. It is not the prospects of individual discomfort or persecutions. It is not our own death. It is the fact that there will be, with certainty, a Last Judgment that we all must face, and that some will have chosen through their own culpable decisions and actions to disregard the free gift of grace and salvation for which we all were intended. Jesus as Judge derives no pleasure from pronouncing anyone as condemned, but He must judge accordingly. True justice is not in accordance with the idea that nobody should be condemned if their actions warrant it. We certainly desire that all men be saved, but we also know from Scripture itself that this is simply not reality.

It is often easy to think that we know who the people are around us that will suffer this eternal fate, but we must remember that this is a judgment restricted only to Jesus. Indications for one destination or the other aside, we cannot know with certainty the fate of anyone, short of official Canonization. The Church, however, makes no official judgments of eternal damnation.

There is an immediate and personal judgment we all face upon our death. But that is different from this Last Judgment. Note the importance highlighted here of treatment of our neighbor. It is one thing to say you have faith and to go to church and read the Bible. But if our treatment of others is without mercy and compassion and aid, we are lost. Jesus said as much.

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