THE SADDEST AND HAPPIEST THING IN THE BIBLE
Brothers and Sisters,
Following up on last week’s discussion of making sure that Christ, prayer, and good works are on our daily task lists, I wanted to paint a picture of what the lack of so doing looks like – a counter-perspective, if you will. It may help some of us to be more inspired to see not only what we are building toward, but also what we are intent on avoiding.
So, what are we trying to circumvent? I would like us to evade what the seems to be the most sad thing that the authors of Sacred Scripture can imagine. It comes to us as a foreshadow in the book of Psalms: away from me, all ye who do evil (Psalms 6:9). Written by David the great king, this Psalm is a direct prediction of the final judgement by Christ at the end of time. You may know this part of the Bible even better:
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, He will […] separate them from one another, as a shepherd separates sheep and goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left […] Then He will say to those on His left: ‘depart from Me, you accursed ones.’”
Matthew 25:31a, 32b, 33, and 41
This was further reflected in this past weekend’s Gospel where Christ said “I do not know where you are from depart from Me, all you evildoers” (Luke 13:27). It is almost precisely what King David predicted. All of this leads to the most sad thing I believe to be in the whole of the Bible – that place where Christ says “I do not know you, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).
Hear this: each of use were created by Christ; “all were created through Him, all were created for Him, He is before all else that is, and in Him everything continues in being (Colossians 1:16-17). Yet, from our free choice to not be holy, to not pray, to not attend Mass, and to not offer good works, He may still say to us that He does not know us. That would be the saddest thing that I can imagine, brothers and sisters.
That, happily, is not the end of the story. Recall at the Crucifixion, all four Gospels state that there were two others crucified at the same time. Saint Luke writes about the interaction in detail. Though admitting his justified condemnation, one of the two asks Christ directly: remember me when You come into Your Kingdom (Luke 23:42). Remember. Remember me.
This, brothers and sisters, is the secret hiding in plain sight. I cannot imagine a better daily task list than to ask Christ to remember me and all of us and be sure that I and we remember Him in all that we do.
God be near,