What do you think Heaven will be like?

A Resurrectionist Vocation Minute for October 23, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time,       World Mission Sunday

What do you think Heaven will be like? 

What do you think Heaven will be like?  Have you ever really thought about this question?

The Mediaeval Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s Paradiso – the third and final book of his trilogy, the Divine Comedy – ends with these famous words:

“…the Love that moves the sun and the other stars.”

Growing up, most of us probably thought of Heaven in rather “earthly” ways – a place where whatever we happened to like, will be there, but without limits.  Looking back today, we’ll probably laugh at some of the things we used to think would be important in Heaven.

But Jesus’ revelation in the Gospels of the mystery of God as a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – a mystery which many think of as merely some abstract theological puzzle with nothing to do with reality – the mystery of the Trinity is in fact a revelation of what is central to Heaven, which tells us by extension, what Heaven will be like.

And it is this: that God is not some impersonal force or distant entity, but is – in Himself – a community of perfect love, into which we have been invited through the Son – this is the mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of what Heaven will be like.  All the experiences of genuine love and belonging in this life have been set in motion by “the Love that moves the sun and the other stars” – that is, by God. 

Jesus’ commission in today’s Gospel is nothing less than a mission to invite everyone to share in this community of perfect love that is the family of God, the Christian community – through baptism and a way of life that expresses this love.

Every genuine experience of Christian community, then, is a little foretaste of Heaven, for which all of us were created, to which all of us are called.  What is your place in the Christian community?  That is your vocation, which will one day reach its fulfillment in Heaven. 

“We call others, especially youth and families, to communities of the Risen Christ in which faith, hope and love radiate as a sign of union with Christ and his mother, Mary, in the Church. We are convinced that to do this our Congregation must be a model of Christian community in which people are one in heart and mind.”

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