Colorful-Gospel-11_04_10Illustration by Phil Younk
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Based on the Gospel of Luke 20:27-38
Everyone loves surprises. There’s one waiting for us. Read on.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, the Sadducees, a group of Jewish religious authorities, did not believe in the resurrection of the dead or an afterlife with God; they weren’t very happy that so many people were listening to Jesus and believing in his teaching. They tried to trick Jesus by asking him about heaven and who would be the heavenly husband of a woman who had married many times while 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 that God is not the God of the dead but of the living.

Jesus explained life in heaven will be completely different from life here on earth.

Everyone who reaches everlasting happiness with God in heaven becomes a child of God and will not be concerned with the duties, worries and pleasures of their life on earth. Jesus promised heaven 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. Heaven will mean no suffering, sickness, pain or death. What Jesus is saying is that everyone who has died will be brought back to life and will be given a new, glorious, heavenly body.

If we think of all the best and happy 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 like. Here’s the surprise: God has reserved a place in heaven for each one of us!

Our life here on earth has a purpose. If we try our best to love God and others while here 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 in church, “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 now and for all eternity. Heaven will be better than anything we can ever imagine. Why? Because that’s how much God loves us.