“Sunday of the last judgment” which is also called “Meatfare Sunday” is the last day of the season in which we can eat meat; however we could still eat dairy products and fish. The Church used it as a soft transitional period between the possibility to eat anything and complete fasting.

The Church read for us a chapter from Matthew related to the last judgment so that we examine our hearts before accessing the Lent and purify ourselves ethically in such a way that we recognize the purpose of the lent before starting it, which is purifying the soul from its sins. The Lord wanted us to know that we will be judged and that our relationship with Him is serious. Therefore, He gave us the image of the last judgment that we saw in the gospel of Matthew. He borrowed the image of goats to talk about those who committed sin willingly, and the image of sheep to talk about the righteous people who did good works. He also defined Himself as the one sitting on the throne.

In this reading, Jesus is a Judge. He gives the righteous ones the “kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world” and attributes to them their good deeds which we could find some of in the beatitudes (Matthew 5). There, He says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst”. He also clarifies – when the righteous ones asked him – that His concern is the person that has no clothes, the sick and the imprisoned. They asked: When did we see you hungry and a stranger…etc.? Here He answered with the heart of this biblical chapter: “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”.

The Lord unifies Himself with all those that are in need, and calls them his little brothers and sisters and this is a mode of love.

In parallel to His questions with the righteous ones, He says to the evil ones: “I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat… I was a stranger and you didn’t invite me in”. So the evil ones ask: “When did we see you thirsty or strange or with no clothes?” and it was normal for His answer to be: “whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me”.

Lots of people live as if the Last Judgment won’t happen. We repeat our sins hoping to repent, but we don’t. Repentance cannot be delayed because if it was, in many cases it would remain delayed and the person would die in his sin.

If we differentiated between good and evil, then the judgment is something normal, or else God Himself wouldn’t differentiate between good and evil. If God was away from you because of something evil you did, your soul shall stay in this same situation after your death. You rely on God’s mercy? This is His own business. Your only concern is to repent.

The actuality of the Last Judgment is rationally present. It is normal for the good person to be happy to confront his Lord after death. This is heaven. While if he confronted his Lord while being against Him, he shall be disturbed and frightened, and this is hell. God wouldn’t be just if he considered that the good and the evil are equal.

In fact, you choose your heaven or hell. God doesn’t judge neither randomly nor arbitrarily. Both heaven and hell are inside you according to your situation on earth. Some hoped that God will eliminate hell because of his mercy. I can only say that such words are not found in the Bible.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “أحد الدينونة” –Raiati 08- 19.02.2012