Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16TH Lk. 12:1-7 “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.”
- Today Jesus warns His disciples and us not to imitate the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. For all our words and actions, and all that is in our heart, will be made known – to some extent in this life, in their entirety at the Particular Judgment before Jesus, and again at the Second Coming of Christ at the Last Judgment, the general judgment of all the nations.
LAST THINGS AND THE REALITY OF ETERNITY by Fr. Ed. Broom, OMV
One of the most efficacious meditations to wake us up, to shake our indolence and complacency, and to motivate us to focus on the most essential and important event in our life is the meditation on the so-called Last-things! In theology, this branch of knowledge is called Eschatology—the study of the Last Things! Seminarians will often have a full semester in this study. Saint Ignatius of Loyola encourages these meditations as a most efficacious means to renounce sin in our life and choose a life of holiness pointing us to God, our Supreme and Everlasting Good.
What then are the Last Things, couched and imbued with the reality of the stark but so real concept of Eternity? They are the following: Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell, and for Catholics, the reality of Purgatory.
A serious meditation upon these five realities and the concept of eternity, which means forever and ever and ever and ever, can shake us from a life of complacency and inflame our heart, mind, and will to focus on the one essential—the one thing necessary – attaining the possession of God for all eternity!
The style of this meditation will be very simple, a brief commentary on one of these realities accompanied by a Biblical passage, then several brief meditation points, ending with a Prayer. Our thrust and hope for those who engage upon this meditation is to arrive at a deeper conversion of life and a firm purpose to do all in your power to get to heaven. Also, from this, to bring as many people to heaven as you possibly can.
Therefore, let us launch into the most noble endeavor of the meditation on the Last Things, from a deeply Biblical perspective and formulate concrete proposals that will help us for time into eternity.
One last point for meditation. Our life is very short in comparison with eternity. The Psalmist reminds us: “Our life is like the flower of the field that rises in the morning and withers and dies as the sun goes down.” (Ps.103:15-16) The great Doctor of the Church, Saint Augustine asserts: “Our life in comparison with eternity is a mere blink of the eye.” Saint Peter expressed it in these words: “For the Lord one day is like a thousand years.” (2Pt.3:8) Our Lady of Fatima said: “If people would simply meditate upon eternity, they would be converted quickly.”
THE LAST THINGS AND ETERNITY: TIME FOR CONVERSION OF LIFE!
I. DEATH: INEVITABLE REALITY FOR ALL HUMANS – Lk. 12:16-21 Parable of the Rich Fool
1) DEFINITION: “Death is the reality of the separation of the soul from the body.”
2) IMPORTANCE: The great woman Doctor of the Church, Saint Teresa of Avila states: “The two most important moments in our life are now and at the hour of our death.”
3) REALITY: We must constantly remind ourselves, not with a morbid depression or anxiety, but with truth and reality: one day I will die!
4) WHEN: That is the question! None of us know the day, or the hour, or the moment, or the circumstances, or the manner in which we will die. This is a mystery.
5) TIMELY PROVERB: A great proverb I learned in Argentina with respect to death: “La muerte is lo mas cierto pero lo mas incierto.” In English: “Death is the most certain, but the most uncertain.” For the simple reason, we know we will die, but we do not know the day, time, manner or circumstances. This is a great mystery!
6) JESUS’ WARNING: “Be prepared because death will come like a thief in the night.” (Mt. 24:36)
7) UNTIMELY DEATHS: We should all meditate upon the constant reality of untimely deaths in an international setting, as well as national, local, and personal setting. We all have been in contact with sudden deaths.
8) WORST REALITY. The two worst things are: mortal sin; but worse yet, dying in mortal sin. The former is the death of the soul; the latter is the death and loss of the soul for all eternity!
9) GOOD DEATH: A good death is going to the Sacrament of Confession. By confessing well, we die to sin and rise to grace and friendship with Jesus.
10) PRAYER TO OUR LADY: Beg Mary for the grace of a holy and happy death. This can be done by praying the Hail Mary and the Holy Rosary.
II. JUDGMENT: MOMENT OF TRUTH – Mt. 25: 31-46 The Judgment of the Nations
1) JUDGMENT follows immediately after we die, the very second!
2) JESUS. Who will judge us? It is Jesus, the Lord! We pray every Sunday in the Creed: “He (Jesus) will come to judge the living and the dead.”
3) REINCARNATION? No! We do not believe in reincarnation. This goes directly against the belief in the Paschal Mystery – the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
4) ONE LIFE. We have one life to live and at the moment of our death, Jesus will judge us.
5) TWO JUDGMENTS. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us the reality of two judgments: The Particular Judgment and the General or Last Judgment.
6) THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT. This judgment takes place immediately after we die in which we go before Jesus Christ who is our Judge.
7) WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE? If you like a modern image, it will be like going to the movies in which a movie of your life will be seen on the screen by you and Jesus. It is the moment of truth. Or if you like, you will present to the Lord the Book of Your Life. Hopefully it will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame and not the Hall of Shame!!!
8) WHAT WILL BE JUDGED? All we have ever done and not done. Our thoughts, words, actions, intentions, and our omissions. The most secret of our actions and intentions will be brought to light before the eyes of Jesus. Nothing will be hidden.
9) THE GENERAL JUDGMENT. This will take place at the end of the world. All the people who have ever lived will come together, and as we read in Mt. 25: 31-48, Jesus the Judge will separate the sheep from the goats, the saved from the damned, those who helped the least of these from those who failed to help them.
10) PRAYER: “Lord, now while I still have time, help me to convert my life. Lord, be not my judge; rather, be my Savior and Redeemer!”
III. HEAVEN: THE DESIRE OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS Rev. Chapter 12: The New Heaven and the New Earth
1) PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION: The purpose of our life on earth is to get to heaven. “We are created to praise God, reverence God, serve God and save our soul.” (Saint Ignatius, Principle and Foundation, #23)
2) LONG FOR HEAVEN. We should have a constant desire and longing for heaven, our eternal destiny. The Psalmist summarizes this desire superbly: “As the deer yearns for the running streams, so my soul yearns for you my God.” (Psalm 42:1)
3) WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE? Its beauty and greatness transcend any human imagination. Saint Paul expresses it as such: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the mind of man, the wonderful things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)
4) HAPPIEST DAY IN YOUR LIFE. Call to mind the happiest day, hour, moment in your life. Now multiply the joy a million times, and add eternity to the equation. You have a mere glimpse of the glory of heaven! A mere glimpse!
5) FRIENDSHIP. In heaven the saints, all of the saints, will be your best friends and for all eternity.
6) ANGELS. Not only the saints, but also the angels will be there with you as your friends. Untied with you to praise and love the Trinity for all eternity.
7) ABSOLUTE AND TOTAL PEACE. While we live in this valley of tears and struggle, peace is both partial and incomplete. In Heaven the peace will be total and absolute! “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
8) OUR LADY. One of the greatest joys of heaven will be to contemplate the glorious beauty of the Face of Mary and experience forever her Motherly love.
9) THE TRINITY. Of course, the greatest of all graces once we arrive at heaven will be the presence of God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We will contemplate the Blessed Trinity – God who is LOVE! He will love us and we will love Him, and we will be absorbed in the LOVING EMBRACE of the TRINITY for all eternity, with Our Blessed Mother Mary, all the angels and saints, and our loved ones who have merited heaven before us. How much we should long for heaven!
10) PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I beg for the Grace of all Graces, to die in the state of Grace!!!
IV. HELL: SEPARATION FROM GOD FOR ALL ETERNITY. Rev. Chapter 18: The Terrible Fall of Babylon
1) REALITY. Whether or not we like the word, term or even reality of Hell, and even if we were to deny hell, no matter: HELL does exist! This is a doctrinal truth of Catholicism.
2) CAFETERIA CATHOLICISM. We cannot fall into the error of Cafeteria Catholicism—picking and choosing what we like in Church teaching and discarding what is unsavory to our spiritual palate!
3) DEFINITION: Hell is a place of torment and eternal separation from God, and it is eternal— it lasts forever and ever.
4) WHO GOES THERE? Anyone who dies unrepentant in the state of mortal sin, by their own free choice has rejected God due to mortal sin and thereby merits the eternal chastisement of hell.
5) WHO IS IN HELL? The rebellious angels that we call the devils (Rev. 12), as well as the damned souls.
6) WHAT ARE THE PAINS OF HELL? Jesus speaks clearly and on more than one occasion that there is ETERNAL HELL FIRE.
7) ANYTHING ELSE? Yes, there is sadness, weeping, gnashing of teeth, and cries of despair. And do not forget: it is forever!
THE WORST PUNISHMENT OF ALL? By far, the worst punishment of hell is having lost God for all eternity. We were created for God, to love God and be loved by God 8) The damned soul through their own fault has rejected God and merited hell – all due to their own machinations, their own perverse will!
9) REASON FOR HELL? Our Lady of Fatima (1917) said that the reason why most souls go to hell is because of sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments—sins against the virtue of holy purity.
10) PRAYER: Our Lady of Fatima insisted that we pray this prayer for the salvation of souls after each decade of the Rosary: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.”
V. PURGATORY: GOD’S CLEANSING FIRE OF LOVE. II Maccabees Chapter 12: 38-46
1. PURGATORY. Also a doctrinal truth taught by the Catholic Church. It is a clear manifestation of the goodness and mercy of our Loving and Good God!
2. NOTHING IMPURE. The Bible teaches us with utmost clarity that nothing impure can enter the presence of God.
3. WHO GOES TO PURGATORY? The Church teaches that those who die in the state of sanctifying grace, being free of the stark reality of Mortal Sin, but who have less serious stains on their soul must go to a place of Purification that we call PURGATORY!
5. WHAT MUST BE PURIFIED? Venial sins and repented mortal sins that have not been fully expiated or purified must undergo a process of purification.
6.LENGTH? Different from Heaven and Hell, Purgatory is temporal—that is to say, eventually it comes to an end according to the state of each individual soul. At the end of time, Purgatory will come to an end and cease to exist!
7. WHAT IS IT LIKE? According to Catholic Tradition, Purgatory is a cleansing fire. As gold is purified in fire, so the soul is purified of all elements of sin and selfishness by the cleansing fire of the love of God.
8. AN ANALOGY. The Book of Revelation compares Heaven to that of a Wedding Banquet. Nobody in their right mind would enter a Wedding Banquet with dirty and smelly clothes. No! They would have to be washed and cleaned first. So it is with Heaven. Purgatory washes the dirty stains of sin that still remain on our soul so that we can have full access to the eternal Heavenly Banquet to be with God and His angels and saints.
9 ANOTHER? Yes, Saint John of the Cross presents a cold, dirty, and rusty piece of iron that is cast into a blazing fire. As the iron heats up and gets hot, the coldness, the dirt, and the rust fall from the iron, until finally the iron is red hot and becomes like the fire. So it is in Purgatory, the fire of God’s love must burn away the rust of our selfishness!
10. WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THE SOULS IN PURGATORY? The three classical works of Lent, which can be done any time of year: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The more we do these practices, the better for the souls in Purgatory, for the sooner they will be released to Heaven! Of course, the most powerful prayer is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the reception of Holy Communion for the souls in Purgatory. By the way, the souls in Purgatory cannot pray for themselves, but they can pray for us! Let us ask them to pray for our eternal salvation!
11. PLENARY INDULGENCE AND PURGATORY. This can be offered for the souls in Purgatory or for yourself, but you cannot offer it for anyone else who is living. Conditions? 1) Confession, 2) Mass and Holy Communion, 3) Indulgenced prayer such as a Rosary prayed in the family or in front of the Blessed Sacrament, 4) Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, and 5) strive to give up sin, fully and totally. You could earn this Plenary Indulgence every day and release a soul from Purgatory every day! All the conditions have to be met every day to earn a Plenary Indulgence every day, with the exception of Confession which can be done within 20 days. Assuredly these souls would show their gratitude by praying for all your intentions and your eternal salvation!
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St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA