"The lives of all of us are to be revealed before the tribunal of Christ so that each one may receive his recompense, good or bad, according to his life in the body." —2 Corinthians 5:10
We are all awaiting trial. Jesus will judge us based on our faith expressed in action (see Mt 25:31ff). We will be judged according to our fruitfulness as His stewards (Mt 25:14ff). For instance, Jesus expects those who have been given five talents to produce five more (Mt 25:15). We are responsible to bear spiritual fruit — to lead many people to repentance, salvation, freedom, peace, and life in Christ. We must be fruitful in making disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19), beginning with our children, grandchildren, co-workers, friends, fellow parishioners, and neighbors. When we die and stand trial, the world should be a much better place for our having lived. Life should be more respected and protected; the poor should have been given justice and mercy; Christ's kingdom of justice, peace, and joy in the Spirit should be more established (Rm 14:17).
Many of us don't see an abundant, spiritual fruitfulness in our lives. This is normal to some degree, for the growth of God's kingdom is invisible at first (Mk 4:27). Even when we can see it, it is at first as small as a mustard seed (Mk 4:31). However, if we are attached to Jesus (Jn 15:5) and if we die to ourselves (Jn 12:24), we will bear abundant fruit and be judged accordingly. Love the Lord; bear fruit; go to trial; go to heaven.
Prayer: Father, by Your grace may my life amount to something great for Your kingdom.
Promise: "We make it our aim to please Him whether we are with Him or away from Him." —2 Cor 5:9
Praise: Praise Jesus, risen from the dead! Praise Jesus, soon to come in power. Alleluia!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996