Mass Reading & Meditation for January 28, 2013
Meditation: Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands. (Hebrews 9:24)
What is your image of heaven? Through the ages people have had many visions of what heaven is like, from the reverent to the comedic. But the truth is, none of us really knows for sure. Will we be with our family and friends? Or will we be so caught up in worshipping Jesus that we won’t be concerned about anything else? Will we be surprised at who is there—and who is not? We know that we will have a glorified body, but what will that body look like? How will it feel?
Each of these questions reflects some kind of fear or concern, both about our lives here on earth and about the afterlife. But for all of our lack of understanding, we can say with confidence that heaven is the fulfillment of our greatest desire: to behold the Lord face-to-face and to live with him forever! But not only will we see him; we will be like him (1 John 3:2)!
If Jesus is perfect love, there could be nothing better than to be in his presence. No matter what happens here and now, that is what we are guaranteed if we follow him. If we already experience a foretaste of Jesus’ promises every time we receive Communion or turn to him in prayer, how could we ever doubt that the fulfillment of this experience is nothing other than sheer perfection?
St. Paul stretches our imagination when he writes, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). What awaits us is so amazing that words will never be able to describe it! But just knowing that God will wipe every tear from our eyes and that there will be no more death, sorrow, or pain, can go a long way in encouraging and strengthening us. If we keep our eyes on the prize of our heavenly calling, even the greatest challenges we endure here will seem light. So lift up your head and rejoice, for your redemption is at hand!
“Lord, you have loved me with a love beyond understanding. I worship and adore you, Jesus, for your incomparable gift of salvation!”
Psalm 98:1-6; Mark 3:22-30