"O yes," he replied. "We have an electric brake." But the lady was not satisfied. "Suppose that fails. Can you stop the car?"
"Oh yes, " he replied. We have an emergency brake."
She was still not satisfied. "And if that should fail, can you stop the car?"
"Oh yes, We have a hand brake."
The nervous lady was still not satisfied. "But suppose the handbrake should fail. What will happen to us then?"
"If the handbrake should fail," said the conductor, "some of us will go to heaven and some of us will go to hell."
Today the Church wishes us to ask ourselves this question: Are we ready for the judgment? The coming of the Son of Man is like lightning out of the East. We should always be ready. People who say, "I have no time to take care of my soul; I have too many other things to do," will have all eternity to regret that they did not take the time.
It is better for us to be like the blacksmith of a little village who was asked, "Arent't you embarrassed to be seen in Church? A big strong man like you? What will people say if they see the blacksmith in Church?" To which he answered,
"What will people say if they see the blacksmith in hell?"
The judgment will go something like this: God asks Himself about each soul that comes before Him, "Do I see the image of Myself in you?" If the soul is in the state of grace then it shines forth in the image of God Who made it. If the soul is not in the state of grace, then God cannot see Himself and He says to the soul, "I do not know you."
According to an old Chinese legend, a soul crept up to heaven, and knocked timidly at the gate.
When asked who was there, the soul replied, "It is I, Lord."
"If you say, 'It is I,' " said a voice, "you are not ready yet for heaven"
Back to earth the poor soul went and lived a life of prayer and penance.
During that time, the soul learned the lesson that at judgment God is going to ask, "Do I see the image of Myself in you?"
Back to the gate of heaven crept the soul and when the voice asked, "Who is there?" he replied, "it is Thyself, Lord."
The voice told him to enter: "Good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.
"It is appointed for men once to die and after that the judgment." Our whole lives lead up to this. Are we ready for the judgment? Is there anything in our souls which would make God say "I do not know you?" If there is something that stands between you and God, make up your minds to remove it this week by a good confession. Then you need not be worried like the nervous lady in the trolley car. You will be ready like the soul that crept to heaven's gate carrying within himself the likeness of God. God will look at you and ask, "Do I see the image of Myself in you?" If He does He will say to you, "Good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord."
Sunday Morning Storyland
Sermons for the Children's Mass
Bruce Publishing, 1946