THE SEPARATION OF VIRTUOUS FROM VICIOUS – Homily by Metropolitan Jonah on the Sunday of the Last Judgement

Biblical Readings (1 Cor 8:8-9:2 ,  Mt 25:31-46)

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory (as Judge and King), and all the angels with Him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 And all the people of nations will be gathered before Him. Then he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 Then he will put the righteous (virtuous) people at his right, and the unrighteous (vicious) people at his left. 34 Then the king (and Judge) will say to those on his right: Come you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…44 Then he will say to those on his left: Depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” ….

On the 43rd Lord’s Sunday, we learnt that, there will be a reckoning of all activities and actions at the last judgement, in relation to the establishment of the heavenly kingdom on earth: The second Parousia. Therefore, that previous lesson was to prepare us for the lesson of today. The Lord Christ, in brief today, spells out the reasons or the basis of the coming final judgement: hunger, thirst, strangeness, nakedness, sickness, beating, prison, torture etc, of those who live as the “least important brethren” of Himself (v v 40,45). The treatment of such problems, for the least important brethren of Christ the Word of God (besides the virtues referred to in all the Gospel), will be the basis to separate the people of nations, the righteous from the unrighteous, the heirs of God’s kingdom from the heirs of the devil’s eternal fire!

“I truly tell you, whenever you did anything (or not) for one of these least important brethren of mine, you did it (or not) for me” (v v 40, 45). Who are those least important brethren of Christ the Lord? Some readers of the Bible think that, those are the Jewish people from whom Christ has the lineage in flesh. Old Israel (Mt 1:1-17). Other interpreters of the Bible think that, those least important brethren of Christ are the disciples and apostles of Ekklesia, who received and lived by the Spirit of Christ the Lord. New Israel. But there exist also the perspective of humility and humbleness, as a virtue of the innocent and little children. “I truly tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of the child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me”. Mt 18:1-5; 19:14. Mk 9:33-37; 10:15.  Lk 9:46-48; 18:16-17.

Beyond the factual theme, how someone may become a participant of God’s kingdom, this passage of today covers several perspectives and worthy to recall. Christ Jesus the Lord will return, as King and Judge of all the people, from all nations. The basis of judgement is the becoming behavior or the unbecoming behavior, in reference to daily requirements and needs of human life.

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