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Having interpreted John 3:18-19, St. Hilary demonstrates how the Prophet in the First Psalm anticipates these words of Christ:

It is precisely the scheme and system thus laid down in the Gospel that the Prophet has followed, when he says: ‘Therefore the ungodly shall not rise again in the Judgement, nor sinners in the counsel of the righteous.’ He leaves no judgment for the ungodly, because they have been judged already; on the other hand, he has refused to sinners, who as we shewed in our former discourse are to be distinguished from the ungodly, the counsel of the righteous, because they are to be judged. For ungodliness causes the former to be judged beforehand, but sin keeps the latter to be judged hereafter. Thus ungodliness having already been judged is not admitted to the judgment of sinners, while again sinners, who, are yet to be judged, are deemed unworthy of enjoying the counsel of the righteous, who will not be judged.

To review:

  • The righteous have no need to be judged (which is why the blessed and happy man seeks and has their counsel).
  • The ungodly have already been judged, because of their refusal to allow God in their lives.
  • The sinner (who I have called the ambiguous) love darkness. As a result, they will be judged. One of the reasons for this future is that they have chosen to reject the counsel of the righteous and are therefore unworthy of this counsel.

Thus, we are called to follow in the footsteps of the saints, who have been revealed to us as the righteous who have no need to be judged. If we take their counsel by reading about their lives, reading the words that they have left for us and then applying their words and actions to our own lives, we are choosing to be in the counsel of the righteous. As such, we live in hope of being counted among them.