Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Surprise in heaven awaits us
Based on 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thes 2:16-3:5; Lk 20:27-38
Everyone loves surprises. There’s one waiting for us. Read on.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, the Sadducees, Jewish religious authorities, didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead or an afterlife with God. They weren’t happy that people were listening to Jesus and believing his teaching. They tried to trick Jesus by asking him about heaven and who would be the heavenly husband of a woman married several times on earth.
Jesus didn’t fall for the trick question. He focused on teaching about God’s love. He didn’t challenge the meaning of the laws or dismiss the teaching of Moses and the prophets. Jesus said God is not the God of the dead but of the living. He explained life in heaven will be completely different from life on earth.
Everyone who reaches everlasting happiness with God in heaven is a child of God and will not be concerned with the duties, worries and pleasures of earthly life. Jesus said everyone who has died will be brought back to life and will be given a new, glorious, heavenly body.
Jesus promised heaven will mean no suffering, sickness or pain and will mean life with God forever in total peace, happiness and joy. Heaven will mean meeting our family and friends who have gone before us, the angels and the saints.
If we think of the happiest times in our life like birthdays, Christmas, Easter and so on – all rolled into one gigantic celebration – we can get a little idea of what heaven will be.
Here’s the surprise: God has reserved a place in heaven for each of us.
Our life on earth has a purpose. If we try our best to love God and others on earth, then someday happiness forever in heaven with God and all who love God will be ours.
In his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 2:9-10), St. Paul says, and we sometimes sing the song with these words, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him. …”
God is the Giver of Life – here and for all eternity. Heaven will be better than anything ever imagined. Why? Because that’s how much God loves us.