As Catholics whom do we look to as our judge? Too often in our lives we appear to be more concerned with what others around us think about us rather than what Almighty God thinks of us. Do we behave differently around certain family or friends because we’re concerned with their opinion? Do we downplay, hide, or even downright deny our Catholic faith in the workplace for fear of what others may think of us? When others see us in public, and without us even saying a word, are they convinced that we belong to Jesus Christ?
Today Jesus reminds us that when the time comes, everything here on earth will be destroyed – every material thing that we have invested our time, money and our lives for will pass away. Even this beautiful Church we worship in today will be destroyed!
For the people of Jesus’ time it was impossible to think of Jerusalem without the temple. The temple was the center of worship for the Jewish people. In fact, worship of Almighty God was not possible without the sacrifice in the temple yet the destruction of the temple is just what Jesus foretells today – that even God’s most holy of holies here on earth would be destroyed to make room for something greater – the New and Eternal Covenant that God would establish with his people in the Catholic Church through Jesus Christ.
He goes on to discuss what things will be like at the end of the age – how there will be great persecutions of His people. He tells us that parents, siblings, relatives, friends will all be handing each other over to save themselves. Are these the people that we’re afraid of judging us?
If everything here on earth will pass away, then we should be striving to build up for ourselves treasures that will not pass away – we must strive to build up treasure in the Kingdom of heaven. God is our ultimate judge. Every week when we profess the Creed we acknowledge that He will come to judge the living and the dead.
Friends, Jesus tells us what He tells us today not to strike terror or fear in us, but rather so that we will be watchful, alert, and ready for his Second Coming. There will be many among us who will claim to speak in the name of Christ but we are cautioned not to listen to them because their Gospel will be a false one. Instead, Jesus reminds us to stay steadfast and remain faithful to the Gospel that we have received from Him. We will be persecuted, we will handed over by our enemies and even by those whom we call our friends. The outlook seems bleak but for the true believer in Jesus Christ, we look forward to it. We know without any doubt that if we remain true to Christ that when the time of our judgment comes about He will look deep into our hearts and will judge us in a way that no one else can for He will be able to see our intentions, our faithfulness, and the disposition of our hearts.
For perhaps all of us, we will leave this world before its destruction comes about so let us prepare ourselves. We must remain true and press on when things and even our loved ones around us pass away for Jesus Christ will remain faithful to His promise while the prince of the world offers us nothing but empty promises. The world and all its allurements may pass away, but for those who remain faithful, God will be our just and merciful judge and we will have Our Lady as our advocate!
So I ask you again, whom do we look to as our judge? Do we look to those whose judgment, in the end, will not matter or do we remain steadfast and faithful to the law of God, the supreme judge who will never pass away? Amen.