10 March 2024
This day in the Orthodox church calendar is dedicated to reflections on the Last Judgement.
Our world has a beginning and an end. And the day of the Second Glorious Coming of Jesus Christ, according to the teaching of the Church, will be the last day of the world as we know it. It will be the day on which the One Who once made the Universe and us in it will judge the deeds of everybody. No one who ever lived on Earth will avoid this Judgement.
The Last Judgement is the main and final test for humanity. An exam which one will not be able to re-pass.
According to what law will the Lord judge all? The answer is simple — according to the law of love.

Kindness, love, mercy, and compassion to everyone irrespective of his face, status, ethnicity, and political views — this is what God looks for in us.

Global interests, great plans, and brilliant achievements — all this vanity of vanities will at once turn into a miserable shadow, into a half-forgotten dream, into a fig leaf, which cannot cover the nakedness and emptiness of a small, callous soul finding itself before the face of the infinite God and the whole edifice of the world.

A lot of influential people of this world, having received the fullness of power and taken a high place in the earthly hierarchy, decide that they can control the fates both of individuals and of entire nations, or even of the Church of Christ, at their whim.
But the truth is that people entrust those whom they have elected with power not for them to turn into earthly gods and wallow in luxury, nor for applause and bright covers. ‘And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all’ (Mark 9:35).

The people expect the highest responsibility and exhausting work for the common good from the authorities. Being a servant is not just a beautiful name for a party, but first and foremost, it is a calling, a mission.

The reminding of the Last Judgement is a severe warning both to those in power and to all of us that one will have to answer for everything. For good and evil thoughts, for sincere and false feelings, for deeds which were or were not done. For someone started a war, and someone could have, but did not, preserve the precious peace. Their deeds may be quite different, but the result is predetermined and sad in both cases.

The Lord sees everything and will reward everyone according to his merits. There are no loopholes, collisions, or dual interpretations in His Code. There will be no cunning lawyers or false witnesses at His Judgement. The Last Judgement is a judgement of the Truth!

Our Lord is infinitely good, but He is also righteous. It is impossible to lead a sinner who has not repented and has not been corrected by the grace of God into paradise — wherever he goes, he will carry his hell with him.
A chance for salvation and hope for God’s mercy and the forgiveness of our sins are possible only on condition of our sincere repentance before God and the change of our attitude towards our neighbours. We should sober up while we are still on the road. While we are still alive and can still correct something in our lives.

Everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required. It is important for those who have volunteered to serve their people to remember this. It should also be remembered by those who have taken an oath of fidelity to the Church and the people of God, assuming a high ecclesiastical rank. Let all of us remember about it as well, for the Apostle Peter said: ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9).
Almost two hundred years ago, a great poet said:
‘But there is a Judge Divine,
you playmates of perversion,
There is a Judge Almighty — He awaits,
Your gold for Him is no diversion,
He knows well in advance your thoughts
and deeds and traits.
In vain now and henceforth you will resort to vileness,
it will not do you any good…’
(Translated by John Woodsworth)

Yes, the Judgement of God cannot be bribed.
Therefore, I wish everyone to remember about his humanity and love for his neighbour, about responsibility for what has been committed and responsibility for deceived expectations, about sin and repentance — about everything that will be revealed and weighed at the Last Judgement.
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