Imagine Heaven

Kids playingThe Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

November 10, 2019 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 20:27-38

As each of us ages, we might not only call forth memories from our past, but also look to our futures in this life -- and in what follows. From today’s gospel we learn that there was not agreement among the Jews at the time of Jesus about what awaits us after we die. Jesus, however, said that our lives will not end. He responded to their inquiries not by offering any details except the provocative words that for God “all are alive.” That includes you and me. Now and forever.

There is no mention of pearly gates, angels strumming on celestial harps or streets paved with gold. But we can bank on one extremely important idea: we will be with God!

And added from our belief in the Communion of Saints, we can also conclude that we will also be with each other. And when you think about that, this is enough of a picture to give us not only hope for the future, but we can imaginatively forecast a bit of what it will be like. Our biggest clue for this comes from the Resurrection of Jesus.

Like Jesus our bodies will become “risen.” That means we will probably not be invisible spirits but be bodily and remain fully human. Much like we are right now, but a whole lot better. There will be no sickness or suffering or sore backs. No unpaid bills or unfortunate circumstances wearing us down. No inconsiderate noisy neighbors; no more wars.

I like to imagine we will be reconnected with beloved family members, friends and people we knew during our earthly lives. And many others too. Pope Francis was once asked if our pets would be there too. While he was not offering formal apostolic infallible teaching, he did say, “Why not?”

During his lifetime on earth, there are many accounts of Jesus eating with others. After he rose from the dead, he appeared at the shore of Lake Galilee and prepared a breakfast for his followers. Will he be doing something similar in the next life? Will we be served the best wine like those at the wedding feast at Cana? Will he be sharing dinner with us like he did with Zacchaeus, which heard about in last Sunday’s gospel? To all of these questions, I echo the pope’s response, “Why not?”

But the very best part will be that we will be with God who has to be the most wonderful reality imaginable. No, beyond all imagination. And there will be no calendar or clock or even day and night. Total happiness, non-stop. And it will never end.

©David M Thomas, PhD

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method of Review of Life.

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