Homily for Monday, December 1, 2014

Readings for Today

There can be a tendency, when we refer to people who have died, to simply think of heaven as an improved version of here. It can be seen as the perfect family reunion, or a time when someone has unlimited hours to do the things they loved to do while on earth. And while those provide comforting thoughts, I think it misses the point about how grand is the life that awaits those who are saved in heaven.

It is true that we do not know much about heaven, in fact almost nothing. We know it exists, and we know that it involves both the personal and the communal. We do not cease being who we are, but we do receive the fullness of God’s presence. But exactly what that means is still a mystery to us. Writers like John Milton and Dante have tried to express their views on heaven and hell, but they are not definitive.

The best we can do is speak by way of analogy. We can talk about what heaven is like, drawing clues from the Scriptures. And just as we use familiar imagery to comfort ourselves as the loss of our loved ones, so too the Scripture readings use analogies to help us to understand just what heaven may be like.

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