“You. Did. It. To Me.” By Rev. Paul Berghout
THUS, says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. Ezekiel 34:11-12
For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. 1 Corinthians 15:22-24
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’” Matthew 25:31-36
A little boy named Kevin went out with his grandpa one Saturday morning to get some breakfast. They climbed into grandpa’s pickup truck, and down the road, they went. On the way, grandpa turned to Kevin and asked, “Which way is heaven?” Kevin pointed to the sky. Then grandpa said, “Which way is hell?” Kevin pointed to the floorboard of the truck. Grandpa continued, “And where are you going?”
“Dunkin’ Donuts!” Kevin replied.
Jesus wants us to know what the General Judgment will be like, so we know how to live on this earth to prepare for it.
The Catechism says that the Last Judgment will reveal even its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.
As a young child, Mother Teresa learned about the Gospel from her mother and gave a simple reminder to summarize the entire Gospel on five fingers. Her mother held up her five fingers and counted off a word on each one:
“You. Did. It. To. Me.”
That “Five Finger Gospel” stuck with Mother Teresa, keeping her focused on what God wanted for her, and continued to define her life and everything she did.
In 1987, Mother Teresa visited San Quentin’s death row section. She turned to a nearby sergeant about a particular inmate and said for all to hear: “What you do to this man, you do to God.”
God rejected the goats not based on what they did, but on what they failed to do. It was a sin of omission.
Archbishop Charles Chaput said, “I’ve said many times over many years that if we ignore the poor, we will go to hell, literally.
Back then, Shepherds knew that when sheep grazed, they would eat grass, and the grass would regrow, but goats pull out the grass by the roots, so there was nothing left to grow in the future, so goats thus became a symbol of selfishness.
In his book, You Did It to Me, Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, describes an initiative he and friends founded in college. Realizing that they had limited resources and couldn’t give to the poor, they decided to give up soft drinks instead and use the money they spent every day on soda for the poor.
There is an ancient legend among the Jews that while the Israelites were wandering in the desert, they decided to ask God for dinner. Moses explained that God is not a physical being, and so He does not eat. But when Moses went up on the mountain to talk with God, God said that He would accept the Israelites’ dinner invitation.
All the next day, the Israelites prepared dinner for God. An older man, poor and hungry, arrived and wandered around looking at the preparations, but the Israelites were too busy and distracted to attend to him. That evening, the Israelites looked for God, but they did not see Him. The next morning Moses went back up the mountain and asked God why He had not come for dinner. God replied, “I did come; if you had fed the old man, you would have fed Me.”
God will judge us on charity; he requires our openness, our free and concrete response. To become self-actualized requires one to participate in the lives and needs of others.
It’s a grace to live in this world with an expectation of “the End,” which is the Last Judgement—time is linear, moving in one direction towards the culmination of history in God. After the General Judgement, when the sheep and goats are separated, only heaven and hell remain. However, we already know our destiny to either heaven or hell through our judgments after we die.
A writer arrived at the monastery to write a book about the Master. “People say you are a genius. Are you?” he asked. “You might say so.” said the Master, none too modestly. “And what makes one a genius?” “The ability to recognize.” “Recognize what?” “The butterfly in a caterpillar: the eagle in an egg; the saint in a selfish human being.”