Heaven today, and someday

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | November 06,2022 - 08:00 AM

The story is told about a wife who asked her husband: “Honey, is it true that in Heaven, we will not recognize each other, and will not even meet each other there and then?” In jest, the husband answered: “That’s true, honey. That’s why it is called Heaven!”

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In today’s Gospel (Luke 20, 27-38), the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, asked Jesus, who will be the husband of a woman who married seven brothers who died one after the other? The answer of Jesus was that, at the resurrection, people no longer marry or are given in marriage: “They can no longer die, for they are like angels.”

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All our relationships on earth will still matter in Heaven, but these will be superseded by our tremendous relationship with God as our Father, and we as His children. All of us will be so focused then on God the Father Himself, in whom we all will encounter the greatest love of all, and be so filled with joy in His loving presence. In Heaven, we all will be so focused on Him, as we worship and adore Him with so much joy and peace, together.

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The resurrection is something very personal. It is our encounter with a loving God to whom we can relate in a personal way as individuals, and as a community gathered to be with Him. He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Guillermo, the God of Concepcion, the God of Jerry, and the God of you and me!

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Some time ago, I received a picture message of a painting entitled “First Moments in Heaven.” It is a heartwarming picture of people who arrive in Heaven being met and embraced by their loved ones there. The grand homecoming! The final reunion! What makes the joy complete is not only the reunion with our loved ones but our reunion together, with God Himself.

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I remember how Papa and Mama told us when we were young that their greatest joy would be that all of us will meet in Heaven someday, complete as a family. They went on to say that their greatest sorrow would be if one of us would not make it, and our family would not be complete in Heaven. That became a challenge, an inspiration for us to be good, and to try to go to Heaven so that we all will report together to God someday, complete as a family.

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It has been years since Papa and Mama have gone ahead. A lot of things have happened in the meantime. I look forward to embracing them again, sharing with them, and being together again, forever, in the presence of our loving Father, in that kingdom where there are no more pains, no more sufferings, and no more goodbyes.

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The challenge for us is not just to make it to Heaven someday, but to make Heaven happen now, somehow, through our kindness, patience, generosity, forgiveness, care, and love for one another. We can make Heaven happen now, in our own way, no matter how little. Let’s not give hell to one another.

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Selfishness and pride are the biggest obstacles for Heaven to happen now in eternity. Remove selfishness and pride, and the road to Heaven opens up, and Heaven happens in the here and now!

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Think about this: “Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do” (St. John XXIII). What matters is not that we failed, but that we keep trying. Indeed, God sees our heart, not our past.

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A moment with our Lord:Lord, help us to make it to Heaven someday, and to make Heaven happen now. Amen.

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TAGS: angels, CDN, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, heaven, Jesus, Luke, Luke 20, mama, meet in heaven, obstacles, Papa, pride, Resurrection, selfishness

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