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We will be judged on our care for others, Pope tells audience

Catholic World News - April 24, 2013

At the Last Judgment, Pope Francis told his general audience on April 24, “we will be judged by God on charity: on how we have loved our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and neediest of them.”

The Pope devoted his audience to the proclamation in the Nicene Creed that Jesus “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” In his comments on that line, the Pope called attention to three passages from the Gospel. First the Holy Father spoke about the parable of the 10 virgins, waiting for the bridegroom’s arrival. These 10 virgins represent all the faithful, he said. The time that we spend waiting for the Lord’s arrival—without knowing when He will come—is “a time of vigilance.” That time should be spent, the Pope said, learning “to keep our hearts open to the good, to beauty, and to truth.” We should prepare for the Lord’s coming, he said, by “knowing how to read the signs of his presence, to keep our faith alive with prayer and the Sacraments, and to be vigilant so as not to fall asleep, not to forget God.”

Next the Pope turned to the parable of the talents, and exhorted his audience to “make the most of God’s gifts, not for ourselves, but for Him, for the Church, for others.” He continued:

Particularly in this time of crisis, today, it is important not to be locked up in ourselves, removing our talents, our spiritual and material riches, everything that the Lord has given us, but to open ourselves, to be compassionate, to be attentive to others.

Finally the Pontiff spoke about the Last Judgment as Jesus described it. “At his right hand will be those who have acted in accordance with God's will, helping the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the naked, the ill, the imprisoned,” the Pope reminded his audience. The final standard by which we will be judged will be the love we showed for others, he said.

Pope Francis reminded the 75,000 people in attendance at his Wednesday audience that God will judge us mercifully. “Looking to the final judgment must never frighten us,” he said. “Rather, it urges us to live the present better.”

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