A HOMILY FOR THE THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “C” – 11/6/16 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonun! Peace and goodness to you this day!
What will Heaven be like? It’s a question that I think that we’d all like to have answered! As Catholic Christians, we are following Jesus home to this Kingdom that last forever. Before we get there, I think we’d all like to know as much about it, as possible. I mean, we go on vacation for a couple weeks, and we want to find out a least a little bit about where we’re going, to be ready, to get prepared. So what do our readings today tell us about Heaven? Is it going to be like a city built up in the clouds? Are the streets really paved with gold? Is it really a banquet Feast that goes on forever? Do they really have a chocolate bar with no calories? Sometimes you read the descriptions of Heaven, or you see the paintings, and you wonder, do I really want to spend eternity there? Today, the answer from these readings is, absolutely ‘yes!”.
Today, all three of our readings excite our imaginations about Heaven. The brutality of the murders taking place in 2 Maccabees, our First Reading today, are countered with the promise that for those who persevere and remain faithful, God will raise them up to a world where there will be no more persecution, or violence, and no more death. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, our Second Reading today, reminds us that our God is a vigilant sentinel, strengthening us, guiding us, guarding us, and all of us, on our way home to Heaven! God desires that each and every one of us make it home to Heaven safely. And finally, St. Luke’s Gospel entices us to visualize the resurrected life, a perfect world centered on God, where there is no more death. And we are like the angels forever!
This week, Jesus introduces us to Heaven with some vastly different imagery, from the three different readings, but if you notice, there’s one central theme: Whatever we know about this life, pales in comparison to the fullness of life in Christ that is promised to us in the resurrection! The wondrous mystery of the resurrection far exceeds the limits of the human mind. While we’re in this world, we can only begin to imagine what God has in store for us. But it is going to be good. It is going to be beyond our wildest dreams! The promise of Heaven and the Resurrection is far more than just something that we hope for or believe that will happen at the end of our lives. Heaven represents the basis, the promise, and the fulfillment of our entire relationship with God!
Heaven is God’s great correction of things. We may be deprived of life in this world, or we may be deprived of many other things in this life, but the King of the Universe will raise us up to live with Him forever! There may be suffering and death in this world, events and experiences that cause us pain. But that’s not the end of the story! We’ve got to believe that! No matter what the world throws at us, whatever pain, whatever suffering, and even when death comes our way, God is greater that all that! He rules over ALL that. God is King!
Therefore, God has the final say about our eternity. He is our final Judge. And it is here that we return right back to His Mercy and Love. Our God loves us. We’ve got to understand this part of the deal. God wants us to be with Him forever. God has prepared a place for us in His Kingdom. God calls us to be Saints and wants us to live with Him like His angels! We are children of God! God rescues us from the depths of our sin and death, and raises us up out of the darkness and into the light of Christ! Heaven is going to be awesome! We are going to want to be there, in that number, as the song goes, forever! But we must choose Heaven many times every day.
Then let us work for that every day! Our relationship with God is not just about this world. It is about living with Him forever! May we make the right choices! May we keep our eyes and our hearts set on Heaven! And may God get us safely home to Heaven, when our time in this world is over!
+ God bless us this day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!