November 6, 2022
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Facing her 50th birthday and recently diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes, Rebecca was at a crossroads. Realizing that she had neglected her health and fitness over the years and allowed herself to gain significant weight, she felt poorly about who she had become. While it was easier to give in to temptation and the gratification received from food, her family needed her, and she desired a long life. She had an image of the person she could become. She wanted to be more trim, focused, disciplined, and healthy. She liked what she saw in her mind and set out on a journey to create it. With great effort, she succeeded and accomplished her goals. When we have a goal ahead of us, we are more apt to do whatever is necessary to get it.
Is heaven a goal you want to achieve? Our popular images and metaphors to describe heaven can leave some people wondering if this is something they want for all eternity. Living like an angel, wearing white robes, meeting St. Peter, and reconnecting with loved ones are all welcome notions to some extent. But do they really inspire and captivate us enough to want to dramatically change how we live our lives? Heaven’s reality is more profound than any human image or idea can fathom. Even though we believe in a bodily resurrection, heaven is more about attaining union with God. To achieve heaven is to attain eternal happiness and fulfill all desire. How do we awaken within us an ardent and passionate desire for heaven?
St. Isaac of Ninevah counsels, “Enter eagerly into the treasure house that lies within you, and so you will see the treasure house of heaven, for the two are one and the same, and there is but one single entry into them both. The ladder that leads to the kingdom is hidden with you, and is found in your own soul. Dive into yourself and in your soul you will discover the rungs by which to ascend.” Our souls are made to be eternal. Once we discover our true selves and are captivated by the wonder of who we really are, we will unleash our unwavering desire for a lasting union with our Creator. Heaven is about who we are. “For seeing you, our God, as you are, we shall be like you for all the ages.”