As we careen towards the end of the liturgical year and towards Advent, our readings turn toward “the last things”. This is not meant to cause us to be gloomy or sad; on the contrary, it is meant to offer us an opportunity to reflect on the transitory reality of this life in the context of the gift of the promise of eternal life. While none of us really knows what it will be like, and the speculation has made for good reading over the centuries, some theologians today talk of it as something analogous to a glorious and knowable uniting, a joining with God in a new and spectacular way, beyond our wildest hopes and dreams! Heaven! Down through history this belief of the resurrection has motivated many people to stand up and resist oppression and evil, not unlike in the first reading.
What do I believe about heaven and the afterlife? Do I fear death or dying? If I built a little home altar whose photos and mementos would I place on it? What oppression and evil do I need to stand up to?