Healing of the Family Tree and Judgment
Ratzinger writes, “ Judgment consists in the removal of the masks of death.” As Catholics we believe that there are two judgments: a particular judgment and a general judgment at the end of the world.
Theologians have often wondered why there are two judgments. When we die, we face Jesus, we look into His eyes and our eternal destiny is laid out for us. If this is true why does the church and the scriptures talk about the general judgment at the end of the world. (Mat25)
Ratzinger writes, “lastly, we must bear in mind that Christ is not alone. The whole meaning of his earthly life lay in his building for himself a body, in his creating for himself a “fullness.” Since Christ’s body truly belongs to him, encounter with Christ takes place in the encounter with those who are Christ’s, because they are his body. And so our destiny, our truth, if it is really constituted theologically, christologically, depends on our relation to Christ’s body and notably to its suffering members. To this extent the “saints” are our judge. In reflecting on the nature of the Last Day we saw that viewed from this angle, there is a significant interrelation between individual and general judgment. Even though the definitive truth of an individual is fixed in the moment of death, something new is contributed when the world’s guilt has been suffered through to the bitter end. It is at this point that one’s final place in the whole is exhaustively determined.”
At the final judgment we will see the effects of our actions both good and bad on the body of Christ. The saints tell us that those who are generous with the poor ought not to fear death because they will all be our advocates before Jesus. A friend of mine just recently passed away and she prayed for the souls in purgatory every day. She prayed for them because she knew that one day when she died, they would be her advocates before Jesus.
If someone is only interested in their own salvation, that person will not be judged favorably by the Body of Christ.
Jesus says at the final judgment , “I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was naked and you clothed me, I was hungry and you gave me food, in Prison and you visited me. “ Jesus will say these beautiful words, “whatever you did for the least of these you did for Me.”
St Teresa of Avila wrote, about her fellow sisters “I believe they never go to Heaven alone; they will always lead many people along after them. Like good captains they will give whoever marches in their company to God.”