Unable to stand the Light
In today’s Gospel from the Mass (John 12:44-55), Jesus gives a impassioned warning of the coming judgment. But what is the judgment?:
 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.  And he who sees me sees him who sent me.  I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.  If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.  And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”
Jesus, acting with Divine Authority, makes the nature of judgment clear. Consider:
- It is critical to put one’s self in the drama of this moment to understand its full impact. Jesus is offering the last address of His public ministry. This is the culminating message that His wishes the masses to understand prior to the Passion. Of particular note, Jesus “cried out”; when God yells, we should all pay attention!
- Jesus first clarifies that He has been sent from God; Jesus has the absolute authority of the Divine.
- Jesus then points out that there are 3 kinds of responses to His message of love:
- Those who hear Jesus’s words and come to the light (John 12:46).
- Those who hear’s Jesus’ words and then does not keep them (John 12:47).
- Those who reject Jesus’ words (John 12:48).
- Those who hear Jesus’s words and keep them will have eternal life (John 12:49).
- Those who do not keep Jesus word’s or reject His words, will face the Judgment.
It is important to realize is that it is not Jesus who will judge each soul, but each soul will be self-judging; based on the standard of Jesus’ word, each soul’s life will be the evidence at Judgment and either either condemn or save each soul.
Jesus desires to save the world (John 12:47; 3:16). But to be saved, one must desire to be saved. One must come to the light (John 12:46) of Jesus.
Perhaps an analogy might help: Imagine that you are sleeping in the comfortable darkness of a room with thick curtains. Someone throws open the curtains to let in the brilliant morning light and the light is excruciating to your eyes: you just can’t stand the light.
So it is with the Final Judgment. If we have lived a life of darkness, a life of sin and the rejection of the Light, we will not be able to stand the brilliance of the Perfection of God. That brilliant light of God will shine on our sins, and unrepenant, our own lives will testify against us.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead all to repentance and to live in the Light.