MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on heaven and what we think it will be like. Has God gotten our memo? Listen to this podcast of his reflection on the readings for the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time to find out. Please read Luke 20:27-40. #GreatPreaching #Prayer #Sermons #Homilyhelper #Heaven #MemotoGod
MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 11/10/2013 The 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Please pause this audio and read Luke 20:27-40.
R. Alan Culpepper writes in his commentary on this passage, “Sometimes it is best to recognize the mystery of the unknown and the limitations of our understanding.”
In Alcoholics Anonymous and all the other spin offs from it, there is the first step: Admit I am powerless. It is amazing that addiction is actually a control freak way of handling a difficulty in our lives over which we have no power. The addict controls their own life by destroying it. It is the most ironic of things, or is it?
We, too, as a species will destroy when we do not understand. We enslaved black men and women because we saw a difference in skin color we did not understand. We had a need for cheap labor, they were the unknown, so they must be inferior. Some people who are Muslim and wear certain Middle Eastern clothing attack us and we, who do not know Islam or understand the Middle East, begin to assume that everyone who is Muslim and dresses like that are evil. Philosophy and culture does not understand why God would say no to our actions, so we destroy the concept of God in trying to destroy God. Here in this Gospel of Luke, the very people who are testing Jesus do not understand him. Is the answer to know him and seek to understand him? NO! The answer is to destroy him!
It is a good thing that Noah on the ark didn’t have this point of view. We would be the only species left! What would we eat? (Vegetarians and vegans are not allowed to answer.)
Can we open ourselves up to the idea that God may know something about heaven that we do not? Can we get beyond our people with wings for a totally separate species called Angels? Can we reconcile that animals do not go to heaven and we should treat them very well as gifts from God? Can we get beyond the notion that I am going to play 1,000 holes of golf in heaven? Can we just get past our notion of what heaven will be like and trust God?
When we are told that we will not be married in heaven it should cause us a reaction. For some of the people you know, who have happy marriages, this will be disappointing. What will be there for us then? For some of the people we know, who are in abusive or dull lifeless marriages, this will be a huge relief. Are you sure that heaven will be better?
Heaven will be better. We have John of Patmos struggling to tell us in Revelation what heaven is “like.” He says, there is “something like” the gems and jewels we find on earth. There is “something like” a glassy sea. There is “something like” a throne, etc. Yet, he cannot explain it fully because there is nothing here that we have on earth like it.
The question remains, can we trust God that what he has for us is better? In the midst of people who are constantly trying to tear us down, stand in our way, ruin our careers, stymie our efforts because they want to destroy anything that they don’t understand, there stands God, picking up the pieces. Or, do we blame God for the mess? Can we trust him who delivers us time after time even when we don’t understand his deliverance, or must even he be destroyed?
Heaven, as Jesus tells us is a place where those who love God and are resurrected from the dead go forever. It is God’s creation and it is a wonderful place. Yet, it is beyond our grasp. We must trust that it is better that we not be married in heaven. I have a feeling that sexual intimacy is not necessary in heaven. I have a feeling that riches and a big house are not necessary in heaven. I have a feeling that there are no corner offices in heaven. What am I saying? I am saying that all the petty things we fight over or use for a sense of power, prestige and importance will not be necessary in heaven.
Hear what St. John says about heaven in the book of Revelation,
….death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.
All of this has been revealed to us by the way in which Jesus acted and acts today. He came to earth to live our life. Who would want to do that? He came to earth to die the worst possible death. Who would want to do that? He came to be nailed on a cross. Who would want to do that? He came to die our death. Who would want to do that? He came to raise us up to heaven. Who would want to do that? The answer is: God would. God would want to do all those things because he loves us, treasures us and wants us to know he is there for us. God would want us to have a place to be with him forever and ever without the things that weary us. His actions show that we can trust him.
So, if you don’t get heaven just the way you wanted it. Relax. It will be better than you wanted and all those things you thought you wanted. They won’t mean a thing anymore. Trust him. I mean, take a moment and trust him. Drink in the notion of heaven as better than you want it. Drink in the notion of heaven better than you could possibly conceive it. Do that and then think of how this is where God wants you to be.
“Sometimes it is best to recognize the mystery of the unknown and the limitations of our understanding” and rejoice that creating heaven is not our job. Amen? Amen.
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