Sunday, March 6, 2016

Can You See God?

On the third Sunday of the Triodion, known as Judgment Sunday in the Orthodox Church, the Church turns our attention toward the Parable of the Last Judgment. We are taught by this parable the world will be divided between those who see God and those who don’t see God. In telling the story, Jesus exalts those who fed Him, clothed Him, gave Him a drink, and visited Him in prison. Those who are condemned, according to Jesus, are those who didn’t do these things. You should read the entire account in Matthew 25.31-46. In short, Jesus says, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25.40)

The Parable of the Last Judgment isn’t about feeding the poor, although we should feed the poor. What makes feeding the poor part of our salvation is when we can SEE GOD in the poor. If we cannot see God, then even if we feed the poor, we will be lost. As I have said before, even Atheists can feed the poor but their actions will not save them. Every human being is created in the Image of God, and if we truly believe in Him, we will be able to see His Image in each other as human beings.

As we learned last week with the Parable of the Prodigal Son, each human being sins, but when we really love God, we can see past the sin and see God in them. Today the Parable of the Last Judgment drives the point still deeper into our hearts to warn us that our final judgment will depend on whether or not we can see the Image of God in each other. Great Lent is just around the corner. The Church is calling us to reflect in our hearts about our love for God and how that translates into how we see other people, and Judgment Sunday is a great reminder that saying we love God isn’t the same as SEEING Him.

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