“Now we have come to the Gospel about the Last Judgment. It determines everything, for everyone and forever. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal” (Mt. 25:46). Here everything is summed up; everything is clear, unchangeable, eternal. Here God’s Truth meets with God’s Mercy, and God’s Love with the Wisdom of God.
We walked away from Christ’s manger from which we received the spirit of adoption (sonship). On the Day of the Lord’s Circumcision, our New Year, we consciously dedicated ourselves to the service of the Lord in the coming year. On the day of the Lord’s Baptism, we received the special Grace to do God’s will. But on the very first steps of our new life we did not stand fast, but yielded to temptation and sinned. It is not without reason that the very first Sunday after the Baptism called to us: “Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17). And with all the subsequent Gospels the Holy Church has been teaching us how to repent. She has given us wonderful images of repentance: Zacchaeus changed his whole life. The Publican was justified by his prayer: “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk. 18:13). And the Prodigal Son returned to his Father. All this is true, all this happened, and it has been repeated thousands of times throughout the history of Christ’s Church. And all of this exists right now; all this is possible for both you and me.
And the picture of the Last Judgment, which might startle us, does not disrupt our cycle of Gospel readings. It gives them meaning, makes them more exact, sums up for us all that was before in the Church and all that will be further on. After all, to be placed at the right side of the King and to hear His voice: “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom” (Mt. 25:34) — this is the purpose of our life. But we rarely think about this and often forget it.”
These are the words of a truly righteous man! The blessed Archbishop Andrei has many profound yet simple sermons that touch our hearts deeply as he speaks in such a sweet and simple manner that each of us can understand. Christian, ponder these words after you read the Gospel assigned to this day. Consider these words clearly and you will see this is the meter by which we should calculate our successes in life!