To the patriarchs He will likewise oppose the sainted patriarchs: John of the golden words (i.e., Chrysostom), John the Almsgiver, Ignatius, Tarasius, Methodius, and the rest, who not only by word but by deed were the reflection of the true God. Against the metropolitans He will set the saintly metropolitans: Basil, Gregory his brother and his namesake the Wonderworker, Ambrose, and Nicholas. In short, each patriarch, each metropolitan, each bishop, God will judge by the apostles and the holy Fathers who were illustriuos before them in each metropolitan see and diocese. he will set them all opposite each other when you hear Him say, "The sheep on the right hand, the goats to the left" (Mt. 25:33). He will say, "The place where these have worshiped and served Me, is it not the same as where you have spent your lives? Did you not sit on their thrones? Why did you not imitate their life and conduct as well? Why have you not been afraid to handle and eat Me, the spotless and undefiled, with unclean hands and yet more unclean souls? Have you not all shuddered, have you not trembled? Why have you wasted what belonged to the poor on your own pleasures, your friends and relatives? Why, when you had bought Me as if I were a worthless slave, did you exploit Me to serve the passions of the flesh? Even as you have failed to honor Me, so I will not spare you. Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, depart!" (Lk. 13:27)
Thus fathers will be judged by fathers, friend and relatives by friends and relatives, brothers by brothers, slaves and free men by slaves and free men respectively, the rich by those who were rich and the poor by those who were poor, the married by those who have excelled in the married state, and the unmarried by those who have lived unmarried. In short, on the awesome day of judgment every sinful man will see one who is like him opposite to him in eternal life, in that unutterable light, and will be judged by him. What do I mean? As every sinner looks on him who is like him, the king upon king, the ruler upon the ruler, the impenitent whoremonger on the whoremonger who repented, the poor man on the poor man, and the slave on the slave, he will remember that the other one was also a man, witht he same soul, the same hands, the same eyes, in short with all other things in common, the same kind of life and the same rank, the same occupation, the same resources. Yet, since he was unwilling to imitate him, his mouth will at once be stopped (Ps. 107:42) and he will remain without excuse (Rom. 1:20), without a word to speak! When seculars see seculars and sinful kings see holy kings on the right hand, when those who bear the burden of life see rich men and those who bore that burden among the saints, and all those who will be in torments see men like themselves in the kingdom of heaven, then they will be put to shame and find themselves without excuse, just as teh rich man saw Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham while he himself was roasting in fire (Lk. 16:23).
- Saint Syemon the New Theologian, Discourse 5 (On Penitence), -Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âº 15
From: Symeon the New Theologian: The Discourses, Trans. C.J. DeCatanzaro, (Paulist Press, 1980), pp. 107-108