Happy Easter! This Saturday of Easter Week I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.
In 23 years of wedded bliss, my wife and I have lived in four different houses that we owned, five different apartments we rented and various other transient housing arrangements. By far the tensest transitions involved the more recent moves from one house to another. I think a number of factors contributed to the tension in the last couple of moves. Each one involved many changes: new communities, new schools, new parish, new jobs. Each move required significant adjustments.
In a sense, death is the ultimate household move. It is the most significant transition, and is irreversible. Maybe this is why many have great anxiety when contemplating death. There is much uncertainty. We will be “moving” to unfamiliar territories. There is so much we do not now know about our ultimate destination.
Jesus gives us some comforting words to ease our minds:
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. John 4:2-3.
Not only is He telling us that He is preparing our homes, but He will be our escort, taking us to our new abodes to live with us.
When we were house-hunting, it was easy to imagine the home we would end up in. But my imagination was never accurate because, until we actually identified the house, put in a bid and came to an agreement with the homeowner, it was only imaginary—it was not real.
Some notions of Heaven are not all that appealing. Angels playing harps, floating on clouds. For eternity. Ugh! Maybe that’s because the idea of Heaven does not seem very real and we each have to comprehend it in our imperfect ways.
The concept of Heaven is not easy for me to grasp. But when I think of all the people I will get to see again in the afterlife—my Mom, grandparents, old friends—it makes the concept seem more real. If my relationships with my Mom, friends and loved ones pale in comparison with the love Christ has for me, how much more does that magnify the promises of Heaven?