Today, as an experiment, I depart from my usual events-based analysis, where I speak about and explain something important that is going on in the world around us. But today. I want instead to talk direct to YOU. About you. About your mental and spiritual health and about your immortal soul. Please listen, reflect, and let us know what you think.
I will begin with several quotations from the Good Book:
31 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’
40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’
41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’
45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’
46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
So the Gospel tells us explicitly that good deeds you do in this life are rewarded in the next. Not in this one, and this is crucial, because if any good deed you do in this life is rewarded in this life, then why should you ALSO be rewarded in heaven?
This is a very important thought — a man can be very kind, merciful, a good man overall, any but in return he could also receive a great deal of kindness, mercy, and riches. The one requites the other. And it can so happen that he has nothing to ask of God, and nothing will await him in Heaven. And this is… frankly scary. So, if we receive all our rewards down here, then up there nothing awaits us.
You may have done a great deal of good while you were here, in this world, and that is wonderful — and, in fact, it is vital to do good in this life. As Paul repeatedly says in his epistle to Titus, God saved us for good works. We were created, predestined by God for the purpose of doing good. And so, we must do it all the time, as long as the sun shines — not just once a year or once a month, but all the time. We must constantly be concerned for those around us, this is our assignment, this is our duty. But if we do this good, and receive good in return, then it may so happen that we will not receive anything else from God.
We all know the saying, ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ — when a person does something good, but gets a smack upside the head for it. And we are always puzzled by this phenomenon: ‘I’ve only done good — why am I being cursed, beaten, bitten, even on the verge of being killed? Why do I suffer — I only wanted to do good?’
Evidently, this is so that the righteous person can obtain his reward in the Kingdom of Heaven. Because if every good deed is repaid with good in this life, then we are finished with God and there is nothing for us to expect in the next life. Good-bye to you. You’ll appear before God in Heaven, and you will be told, ‘Sorry Brother, but certainly you will remember all the good that you have consumed while you were on Earth. How much more do you expect to keep receiving? This place is not for you — this place is for those who prayed, wept, endured, suffered, awaited, and so on.’
This interesting idea reveals itself to us in the Holy Gospel. We all know that ‘sinners must be punished’. But how many of you truly understand that not only sinners will be punished, but also those who did not do unrewarded good. Few of us grasp this, although it is written in the Gospel. Yet, we prefer to forget these parts.
The Gospel tells us about Judgment Day, that it is not just the sinners who will be punished, but also those who didn’t do good.
God will ask,
‘Have you fed the hungry?’
‘Have you clothed the naked?’
‘Have you visited those in jail?’
‘Have you visited the sick in the hospital?’
‘Then this is no place for you.’
In other words, you may not have done any evil, but you also did not do any good.
That’s how strange our Gospel is. Strange, because it presents ideas that often do not fit into our limited minds. Therefore, read the Gospel carefully so that you can understand how you will be judged. Normally, when you know how you will be judged, you hire a lawyer, prepare yourself mentally, and try to figure out how to save yourself. Therefore, keep in mind, when God will judge you, it will not only be for your sins, but also for the mere absence of good deeds. This absence can make you a hostage of the eternal flames. ‘Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels,’ says Christ.
Why would you go into the everlasting fire? Is it because you made a drug lab in your basement? Is it because you created an alcoholic den in your apartment? Is it because you went into the street and hit random passers by in the face with a bottle? No, simply because you have done nothing good in your life. That’s it. That’s enough. In order to find yourself in hell, all you need to do is avoid good deeds.
We always thought that hell is about punishment for sin. Everyone will be punished for their sins; do not worry about that. Think about how often you do good. You wait for the opportunity to come to you, once in a while. But imagine seeking out good deeds. Imagine dedicating yourself to doing good deeds with the same zeal that you dedicate yourself to the pursuit of profit.
Look at how the businessman looks for profit — he looks night and day, he can barely sleep at night as he searches of opportunities. Or how does a sick dog search for a patch of grass to cure its ills — it sniffs every corner of the forest to find the grass because it desperately needs a cure. With the same greed and desperation as this dog, we must sniff out good deeds.
We must look back at our day and think, ‘what good have I done today?’ Maybe there were no old ladies with heavy bags walking around me today. Maybe I didn’t need to reach out and help someone near me today. And so we will keep living our lives pointlessly with these excuses. And Judgment Day will come and we will say, ‘but I did not sin!’ And God will say, ‘You did not have to.’
In order to end up in hell, you do not need to sin. It is enough to not do any good. It is enough to be useless and fruitless. To live your life for yourself, and not bother anyone. ‘I’m a quiet person who doesn’t bother anyone.’ And that’s it! You’ve booked a spot in a very unpleasant place. As a matter of fact, of course, this is very true about your future and fate in THIS world. But it is even more so in the next. This is what the Gospel says. This is not what I’m saying — the Gospel says this. This is told to us through Matthew in the story about Judgment Day.
So when you call guests into your house, the Lord says do not call wealthy neighbours, family members, or friends. Instead, call the poor, crippled, and lost — feed them and keep them warm. And in the end, they will not give you anything in return — they have nothing to give you. But your reward will be in Heaven, on Judgment Day.
When you see evil stalking your homeland – and the deeply anti-Christian evils of cultural Marxist gender politics, attacks on the family and marriage, multiculturalism, the destruction of the nations ordained by God by globalism, and the worship of false gods grow more rampant and poisonous by the day – when you see these great evils but turn away and busy yourself speaking and acting against far smaller evils, you become an accomplice in those evils. In which case hell not only awaits you in the next world, but hellish punishments will also be yours in this world too or, even if by some lucky chance you escape them, your children and your posterity most certainly will not.
The Gospel wants us to know exactly what we must do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and not be losers — an apt modern word. As you live, you might think, ‘it is for people like me that Heaven was created.’ But then you will arrive and see that no one is waiting for you there. No one there will know who you are. They will ask, ‘who are you?’ And you will say, ‘It’s me, don’t you know me?’ But they will reply, ‘No, we don’t know you. Leave, for you are taking up the space of good men.’ And then there will be crying and gnashing of teeth. Why? Because it will be very sad. It will be sad to approach to gates of Heaven and understand that no one there knows you or is waiting for you.
Therefore, we have an essential truth revealed to us in today’s Gospel — that you will receive rewards above for the unrewarded acts down here. And it is so often that a person will do good, but only receive evil in return. And he will be surprised by this: ‘Why am I treated like this?’ It is so that you will not have rewards in this life. You will receive your rewards up there , if you believe. If you believe, then do not be sorrowful and do not worry, because there will be a reward. The reward will find the hero, just not here. Do you have faith? Then be calm.
On Earth, good deeds are punished, and not lauded. Read the biography of any great individual. Any great historical figure has been beaten, hated, slandered, tortured, but adored after their death. Any great person — physicist, chemist, officer, king, monk , or priest. Even that rarest of men, the good politician. In life, they were spat on, in death, some remain demonised and reviled, but, in the end, people understand and the world begins to sing their praises, ‘what a holy man he was…’ Well, this holy man was just walking on Earth, and you all spat on him.
This is the law, on Earth people spit at the good. And in Heaven, the good are rewarded. And if the Earth truly rewarded good, then there would be no reward left in Heaven. Such is the interesting turn of events. It is scary, but fascinating.
Longevity is a reward for a life of labour. A lazy person, one who lives for pleasure, usually ends up full of diseases and departs at an early age. But those who live very difficult lives, they live very long lives. So, if you want to live for a long time, work! Work as hard as a galley slave, chained to his oar. Do not rest, work, labour away — on your job, in the garden. Always be labouring, and you will live to 70,80,90. You will be 70, but look 50.
If you want to always seek pleasure from life and look young, if you put Botox in your lips, ears, eyes, noses — then you will die very quickly and only your Botox will be left of you. Years later, they’ll find a row of very white and straight teeth inside your coffin and that’s all. If you want a short life, do not work. Idlers die quickly. If you want to depart from this sad and scary world, then all you have to do is be lazy. I promise you this. But if you work hard, like a work-horse, like bees, then you will live very blessed and strenuous lives..
We are all people. And each person is a miracle. You are a miracle. I am one too. I don’t know if you will remember anything I’ve said. But let’s recap. We have discussed that the logic of the Gospel is opposite that of worldly logic. That you will receive rewards in Heaven when you do not have them in this life. Therefore, do not rush into the queue for rewards. When someone offers your reward, do not take it. Whether you are offered medals or awards, do not take them. If you are a true believer, then you do not need this attention. God will reward you.
Otherwise, you will have your reward here, but not in Heaven. We talked about Judgment Day — it is not enough to not sin. To enter hell, you do not need sins — lack of good deeds is enough.
Therefore, live happily, do good, live long, and be as hardworking as bees. Deus Vult!