In today’s Gospel from the Mass (John 5:17-30), Jesus makes it absolutely clear that He is the Divine Judge who will judge every person based on the merits of their lives.

[17] But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working still, and I am working.” [18] This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God. [19]Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. [20] For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. [21] For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. [22] The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, [23] that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. [24] Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.[25]”Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.[26] For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, [27] and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. [28] Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice [29] and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. [30] “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

There are many who wish to believe in a sugar-coated Jesus, the idea that Jesus has so much love that He will accept any kind of behavior and that everybody will be saved, regardless of belief and behavior.

Clearly, that idea is false, based on Jesus’s own words as highlighted above.  Jesus, Himself, has proclaimed that there is a judgment, that He is the Judge and that He will judge.

There is no justice if the evil and the good are treated the same.  Jesus promises just judgment.

Jesus reminds us that He is just (John 5:30) and that there are dramatically different outcomes for people based on their response to the Grace of Jesus: “…those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29).

While it is tempting to “wish upon a star”, it is much more prudent to listen and heed the words of the Divine Judge.

Our lives depends on it.