Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan
GREAT LENT: DAY 31
“Let the nations rouse themselves and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the neighboring nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness, is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:12-14
In today’s reading, the prophet Joel presents the terrifying Day of Judgment by the Almighty God. This is the day when every nation will be gathered at the “Valley of Judgment”, and God will sit on the throne and judge all the nations.
Many of us live in a way as if we are not going to die, while some of us never really live life because of our fear of death. We keep ourselves occupied, busy, and distracted, forgetting that one day we will give an account for all the things we have done and omitted to do. One day we will stand before our Creator God and present our lives before Him. Where one is rich or poor, a leader or a follower, a spiritual or an intellectual, all of us will stand before our Lord’s terrifying, awestruck judgment seat.
The question for us to contemplate is: Are we prepared to stand before a just and righteous Judge, and give an account for all our words and deeds? In a famous film called “Island,” Father Anton said it this way: “I am not afraid to die, but I am terrified to stand before God.” Certainly, no one will be able to justify the self before God, and no one will be able to escape His judgment. Nonetheless, the Holy Scriptures tell us that only His Perfect Love can give us the courage and confidence to stand before His judgment. Apostle John says, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
Dear friends, on that Day of Judgment every single one of us will give an account for our lives, our words, and deeds, before the Almighty God. Therefore, during this earthly journey, come and let us be well-prepared for that day. Let us pray to God for Him to grant us His Perfect Love, so that we may live in this world a Christ-like life toward God and people.