Friar’s Corner: Jesus’ encouragement brings us the joy of heaven

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

2 Mac 7:1-2, 9-14; Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15; 2 Thessalonians 2:16–3:5; Luke 20:27, 34-38

Jesus, we pray that you pour upon us and our nation your mercy and great wisdom as we elect our next president and legislators. Guide us so we can take the next right step to help make our country great again and be a sign of Jesus’ hope for others. I take authority over all terrorists seeking to do great harm to our beloved country, especially to disrupt this week’s election. Jesus, please fill us with your wisdom as we go to vote Tuesday. We plead in your most holy name.

During this last month of our Church year we think about the four last things of our life: death, judgment, heaven and hell. Where will we spend eternal life? In heaven, if we have followed Jesus, or going to that place of eternal separated from God, in hell? We will all face that at the end of our life on earth.

We also think about three levels of the church. The church vigilant, which we are a part of at present. The church suffering, where those who have died and were not perfect go for further purification before entering heaven. We spend the month praying for them so they can get to heaven more quickly. Then we have the church triumphant, in total happiness and glory. Then there are those who are enjoying the blessedness of being with God and all the good angels and other perfectly cleansed persons who once lived on earth. We call them saints. In our daily trials here on earth, little-by-little and day-by-day, we make our own choice of following Jesus and being good so we can spend eternity in heaven.

Promise of Heaven

Before Jesus ascension, he told his followers, in St. John 14:1-6, that he was going back to heaven to prepare a place, a house, for them. “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” He said someday he would come back to take us there. That is if we are baptized and choose to follow Jesus and live by his directions in this life. He said he is the way, truth and life, Jn 14:6. Jesus is our only good shepherd and we are his sheep, Jn 10:14. He is the only door to eternal life in heaven, Jn 10:9. Jesus came that we might have a more abundant life, Jn 10:10b. Alleluia!

What makes us live in our body is the life-breath of God. Someday God will call us from this life. If we have been faithfully following Jesus we can go to heaven when we are purified.

Visions of Heaven

The book of Revelation shares with us beautiful short visions of heaven. Look through the 22 chapters and find those good visions. Don’t focus on the destruction parts. In chapter 22, St. John has a vision of the river of life-giving water flowing from the thrones of the Our Father and Jesus the Lamb. The water flows in the middle of the streets. On either side grow fruit trees. These trees bear fruit twelve times a year and their leaves are used to heal the nations. This river comes down to earth in the seven sacraments of Jesus’ church and our prayer life. Each of these seven rivers gives us a different divine power to help us in our “trials” on earth. As we understand these images, we go more often to receive more of this life-giving water. It becomes more joy in anticipation of the great unending joys of heaven. And for us who are a part of this, we share a little of what glory awaits us in heaven.

Heaven a whole new realm of existence, not another solar system. It is a glorious spiritual place. Some souls who left their bodies for a long period of time try to explain to us the extreme beauty of the heavenly realm. The trees, rivers, colors of flowers are so much more brilliant that what we see with our human eyes on earth, yet the brilliance does not hurt our spiritual eyes. Heaven is the place to share the perfect and eternal love of God, which will only get better and better forever. This is very hard for us to grasp here in our “little minds.”

Encouragement and wisdom

Please continue to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy even a few times a day. Go more frequently to daily Mass, pray your rosary and go to confession at least once a month.

Tuesday is a critical point in U.S. history. Pray and ask God’s wisdom for your vote. Study the ballots before you vote. There are often other issues to vote about not often discussed if you don’t follow the local and state news. Study what the candidates stand for and not what the media ads say. Almost one whole party is for making our country good again and stands for respecting our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It tries to follow the Fifth commandment given by God to Moses some three thousand years ago, ”Thou shall not kill.” Most in the other party do not stand to protect all life. God help us.

Remain in his peace and joy.
+ Fr. Bob.
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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