Pope Francis: What matters in the end is how well we loved
On Sunday Pope Francis said that when the Final Judgment comes, what will matter most is how much we loved God and others, especially through daily, concrete acts of charity toward those most in need.
“At the end of our life we will be judged on love, that is, on our concrete commitment to love and serve Jesus in the least of our brothers and the needy,” the Pope said Nov. 26.
“Jesus will come at the end of time to judge all the nations, but he (also) comes to us every day, in so many ways, and asks us to welcome him.”
Pope Francis spoke to around 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square before leading the Angelus prayer. Celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King, the Pope offered a reflection on the Last Judgment and Jesus’ “criteria” for entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
He explained how at the second coming, when Jesus appears “in divine glory,” he will summon all of humanity to him, separating the righteous from the unrighteous. And to the righteous he will say: “Come, blessed of my Father, receive as inheritance the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”
This is because: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you dressed me, sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to see me.”
Francis noted how when Jesus speaks about the Final Judgment to his disciples, the men are surprised by his words, because they don’t remember meeting Jesus, let alone helping him in this way. So Jesus explains what he meant: “All you did to one of these the least of my brothers, you did to me.”
“This word never ceases to hit us,” Pope Francis said, “because it reveals to what extent God's love comes to us: to the point of being identified with us, but not when we are well, when we are healthy and happy, no, but when we are in need.”
In this way Jesus reveals “the decisive criterion of his judgment,” the Pope said, which is “concrete love for the neighbor in distress.”
We should ask the Virgin Mary to help us to not only meet Jesus in his Word and in the Eucharist, he continued, but “at the same time in the brothers and sisters suffering from hunger, illness, oppression, and injustice.”
“May our hearts welcome him into our life today, for we are welcomed by him into the eternity of his Kingdom of Light and Peace.”
After the Angelus Pope Francis expressed his sorrow for the attack on a mosque in Sinai, Egypt on Nov. 24 which killed more than 230 people and wounded hundreds more.
“I continue to pray for the many victims, for the wounded and for the whole community, so severely affected. God frees us from these tragedies and sustains the efforts of all those who work for peace, concord, and coexistence,” he said.
Just as those people were praying at the time of the attack, he then asked for a moment of silent prayer for those affected by the attack.
The Pope also recalled the beatification of Bl. Catalina de María Rodríguez, founder of the Congregation of Hermanas Esclavas of Corazón de Jesús, in Argentina on Saturday.
She lived in the 19th century and was first married. But when she became widowed she decided to consecrate herself to God and dedicate herself “to the spiritual and material care of the poorest and most vulnerable women.”
“We praise the Lord for this ‘passionate woman of the Heart of Jesus and of humanity,’” he said.