Go to the Doctor before the Judge

Some say cold weather is good because it kills all the germs in the air. However, from the sounds of coughing and sneezing and wheezing it sounds like the germs are still thriving at this time of year. Many of you have probably made a visit to the doctor to be examined and treated during the flu and cold season. Hopefully, the prescriptions given, whether it is bed rest or antibiotics, have helped you feel better and become healthy again.

There is another virus going around, one that doesn?t get the attention it deserves. It is highly infectious and if not treated grows progressively worse. This nasty germ is called sin and it can even be deadly. Sin, ?amartia?, or missing the mark, not fulfilling God?s commandments can lead to the death of our soul. This death is defined as the complete separation of the soul from God. Some symptoms of the soul virus are self-centeredness, quick-tempered, laziness, over-indulgence, jealousy, lustfulness and greediness. If you have these symptoms, go see a doctor right away. That physician, of course, is Jesus Christ and His clinic and hospital is the Church.

It?s important to see Jesus as the Doctor and Physician of our souls because eventually we are going to see Him as the Judge. If we are not spiritually healthy and if our priorities are not in the right place and if we have not made the right choices, then it is not going to be pleasant experience in Jesus? courtroom. How many times have we seen people, who think only of themselves and continue to make wrong choices, end up before a county judge for a serious breach of the law? They now must face punishment and imprisonment to try and correct their behavior.

Today is the Sunday of Meatfare, many of us are thinking about that last piece of meat we are going to devour until Pascha/Easter comes. We need to focus on the main theme of today- the Second Coming of Christ and His Righteous Judgment of our souls. In today?s Gospel reading from Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus is quite clear about the nature of our own judgment. How we treat others, especially the strangers, hungry, the poor, the sick and the prisoners, will affect whether we experience eternal life with God in heaven or eternal torment with the devil in hell. This is a strong warning to us to get our priorities straight and make good choices.

If we are having difficulty with doing these two things, see the doctor before you have to see the judge. Ask anyone who has experience both and they will tell you it is a lot easier to see a doctor privately to confidentially discuss symptoms and cures than to appear before a whole courtroom and then have it become part of the public record. Can I make the analogy any more obvious? Would you rather talk with the priest privately to get your life in order or wait for the problems to get so bad that it?s impossible to hide them. Repentance, which means to change our ways for the better, and confession, help erase the wrong-choices in our life. Jesus knows that we are not perfect. However, He expects us to learn from our wrong choices and not to repeat them. Jesus will help us grow and mature if we turn to Him for assistance and help.

Whether we have seen Jesus as the Physician and Healer of our souls and bodies, or not, we will see Him as Just Judge at the Second Coming. What will that appearance be like? Will He say, ?You have quite a poor record here and I don?t really know you so it?s difficult for me to take anything into consideration that might help you.? Or will He say, ?I see you have had some difficulty in the past, but I know you, I know how much you have tried to improve your life. I have helped you before. I see a record of improvement and growth in your life.?

Go see Our Lord Jesus Christ the Great Doctor of the soul. He is always on call. The staff at His clinic and hospital, the Church, are always eager to help. There is a cure for whatever ails you. Do not ignore your symptoms. Come and be cured of your illness and then go tell others about this great Doctor and all the great things He did for you. Amen.