the-last-judgment-by-michelangelo

After warning of the catastrophic world upheavals that will proceed His Second Coming, Christ has reassured His disciples to be confident in His promises of redemption for those who give themselves to Him. To help men endure, Christ offers a final exhortation to remain upright and watchful for the Second Coming may happen at any time.

Christ gives a dire warning to all men about living in the last days, to take heed (to be extremely cautious or wary).  Rather than allowing hearts to become “weighted down with dissipation” in reaction to the desolation and destruction to come, men are to filled with joyful anticipation of salvation (v. 28). Rather than fall into drunkenness to avoid facing the inevitable, men are to remain sober.  Rather than falling into “anxieties of life”, men are to called to heroic courage and to face the coming storm with faith.

Christ urges men to vigilantly prepare for the Judgment that is to come to “all who dwell on the face of whole the earth.” The end will come suddenly like a hidden trap (a snare) that violently and quickly closes a noose around an animal. He urges men to be on “watch at all times”, a warning of the need to pursue a disciplined life of prayer that daily seeks to grow in holiness; by spiritual disciplines devoted to Christ men build endurance and resilience. No one will escape Christ’s Judgment; men should continually pray to be prepared to stand (rather than cower and hide in guilty fear) in humble confidence that they have given Christ their best and to rely on His Mercy.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of Man, Christ has intimate knowledge of the future turmoil and glory of the Second Coming. Divine Judge, Christ reveals that all men will be judged.  Divine King, Christ exhorts men to live their lives with vigilance so they may stand with confidence at their inevitable Judgment.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Despite the dramatic growth of knowledge and technology, man’s ability to forecast the future is extremely limited (e.g. weather forecasts, political campaign results, stock market predictions). Marvel Christ’s accurate prediction the fall of Jerusalem 40 years in the future and His bold revelation of His Second Coming thousands of years in the future (2000 and counting so far!).

2) Men often live with a myopic narrow view of their own daily lives. Pray for Christ to help you see the “big picture” of Salvation History and your place in in, while continuing to engage in the Spiritual Combat right where you are.

3) While being put on trial in the world (criminal or civil legal proceedings, IRS audit, etc.) is extremely stressful for most, a worldly trial is trivial compared to the eternal trial of the Judgment. Pray for Christ to help you begin to diligently prepare for your unavoidable Judgment where your eternal fate will be revealed.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead