Today is the Solemnity of All Saints. Today we are reminded that we all shall die. Today we are reminded that we all can go “to Heaven.”
Truth be told, I have never been motivated to be a Christian by the promise of the afterlife. I am more concerned with my faith and how it affects my current life. I guess it is a nice idea, that we will live for eternity in a really nice place, but I’ve always seen our mission as Christians to help make *this* place a very nice place. And maybe the two ideas are related. Maybe we help God transform this world into the next.
I like the idea of the Bodhisattva. I’d like to think I’d be selfless enough to deny myself my “heavenly reward” so that I could stay behind and help others achieve theirs. But if the time came now, I’m sure I’d cave. I need a lot more spiritual progress before I can truly face my own demise and my eternal status with equanimity.
Today’s reading in 1 Jn 3:1-3 is interesting, and may explain why I am a bit less enthusiastic about Heaven than a Christian should be:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.
Now, by my faith in God, I know that whatever Heaven is will be just fine by me. But I just can’t picture it.
I figure I have as much knowledge of what awaits me as an embryo has of the world he is about to be born into. John says “when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” I’m pretty sure God is a being outside of the limitations of time, space, physics, logic and anything else I can comprehend. If we are to be “like him” in the next life and “see him as he is”, what’s to say that we’ll be dancing around and behaving like transplanted humans, albeit purified? I figure we’d be more like, heck I dunno, timeless, omnipresent, fields of pure mind energy or something like that. Sounds pretty funky, I admit, but my point is that I cannot envision the afterlife because I don’t think it will *be* something I can envision.
So here’s where I let go and trust God that she’ll make everything just peachy for us. But I’ll focus on this life for now, because a better life for *this* world is something I *can* envision.
Happy All Saints’ Day, nonetheless.