Monday, October 19, 2015

St Symeon on the Last Judgement

What will happen to us at the Last Judgement? When will it take place? How will it happen? What will we be judged on? These are merely some of the questions Christian have been asking for centuries. The last book of the New Testament gives an interesting exegesis of the last days; however, despite answering many questions, it seems that it creates even more. A number of Church Fathers have endeavoured to answer these questions. Below is an exegesis given to us by St Symeon, who explains that there are two judgements, i.e. one in this life, also known as the judgement of salvation, and the other will take place after the end of the world, the judgement to condemnation.

‘In this present life, when by repentance, we enter freely and of our own will into the divine light, we find ourselves accused and under judgement; but, owing to the divine love and compassion the accusation and judgement is made in secret, in the depths of our soul, to purify us, that we may receive the pardon of our sins. It is only God and ourselves who at that time will see the hidden depths of our hearts. Those who in this life undergo such a judgement will have nothing to fear from another tribunal. But for those who will not, in this life, enter into the light, that they may be accused and judged, for those who hate the light, the second coming of Christ will disclose the light which at present remains hidden, and will make manifest everything which has been concealed. Everything which today we hide, not wishing to reveal the depths of our hearts in repentance, will then be made open in the light, before the face of God; and the whole world, and what we really are will be made plain.’[1]
From the above text it is evident that confession and the Last Judgement are related. This is also understood by the late Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, who had said, ‘confession is the anticipation of the terrible Last Judgement.’ It will be terrible because it will show us who we really are. When we confess we don’t confess what we have done, but who we are.

[1] Homily, LVII. 

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