Fr. John Ehrich describes some misconceptions that many might hold in regards to our ideas about heaven, which are described by Jesus in the gospel. The idea that our loved ones who have passed have “become angels” may serve comfort to grieving families, but ultimately, we must clarify that we are only “like” angels, not actually new angels, when we enter into heaven. Another clarification is that marriage in heaven is not a part of the equation. Though Christ has compared eternal life to a wedding in other scripture passages, our human institution of marriage is not purposeful in the context of heaven. Why? One, there is no need for the procreation that marriage brings about because when we are in heaven, at that point, we are fully, purely, impermeably present with God. When we think about the state of affairs in heaven, it is easy to think very personally in the first person perspective (Will or won’t I be in heaven? Will it be my version of heaven? Will it be a land of golf, or chocolate, or _______), or forget about the communal importance of being together at mass. Our understanding and hope is that we’re not only all meant to be united with our Lord Jesus Christ after we die, but also be actively participating in the life in the Body of Christ that we experience in ministry, service, family and love for one another.
November 10, 2019