Homily for Thursday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00 Mass
2 Timothy 1:1-8; Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10; Mark 4:21-25
Every day before Mass Fr. Bill prays the following prayer with the deacons and altar servers:
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
It’s a beautiful prayer taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and it confirms the truth spoken by Jesus in today’s gospel when he says:
“For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.” Mark 4:22
In reflecting on what this tells us as Christians about God and the coming judgement at the end of time, I turned to the Catechism. Article 12 is entitled “I Believe in Life Everlasting.” Within this article we find Church teaching our entrance into everlasting life.
Here we find the teaching of the Particular Judgement, which occurs immediately at our time of death
We also find Church teaching on Heaven, Purgatory & Hell, followed by what will happen at the Last Judgement, when Christ returns in glory to transform all creation into a new heaven and a new earth. This will be something that we can not even begin to imagine now, something so glorious and beautiful that words can’t begin to describe it.
As amazing as this will all be, there is something that might strike us as a bit frightening about what will occur. The Catechism tells us in the section on the Last Judgement that:
“In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare. The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life… (CCC #1039).
This line from the Catechism seems to suggest that both our good actions and evil ones will be revealed for all to see.
If we properly interpret today’s gospel passage, as well as the passage from the Catechism, we are to understand that even our deepest sins, including those that have been forgiven through the Sacrament of Confession, will be made manifest for all to see.
I don’t know about you, but this idea for me can, at first, be a bit frightening. I mean, really, everyone is going to know all of my sins? I’m not sure I’m ready for that! This notion makes the fear some have of going to confession pale in comparison, right?
But it really shouldn’t be frightening. It should be liberating.
Here’s the truth of the matter…if every action of our lives, both good and bad, will be made public for all to see at The Last Judgment, then this will result in one thing and one thing alone for those who are in Heaven: the glory of God and much rejoicing!
In other words, if God reveals every sin we have committed, then He will also reveal our repentance from those sins, the purification we endured, and the forgiveness we received.
Therefore, those who make up the Communion of Saints will not look upon us with judgment; rather, they will glorify God in the same way we glorify God and thank Him for His abundant mercy and forgiveness. If all truly is made manifest, then it will be so that we can all rejoice together in the incredible MERCY of God and can look at each other with gratitude for all that God had done for the other.
I encourage you to reflect, today, upon that glorious moment for each of us who have been judged worthy of heaven at our particular judgement at the time of our death.
Imagine the freedom you will experience by allowing God to share the deepest sins and the deepest virtues of your life with all who share Heaven with you. Shame will be gone. Judgment will be gone. Rejoicing and gratitude alone will remain. What a glorious moment that will be!
May we never forget all that Our Lord has done for us, and may his mercy be the cause of our rejoicing now and forever.
Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.