30 October 2020
30 Oct 2020

Look at the Sky

by  Gonzalo Arnáiz Álvarez, scj

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It is a feast that invites us to look at heaven, our future homeland where many of our brothers and sisters have already gone before us and there they enjoy eternal bliss.

Jesus, in order to describe Heaven (Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven, Paradise, Glory, Kingdon, Vision of God) does it using images (precious pearl, net full of fish, abundant harvest) that provokes in the speaker an immense joy. But there is one image in particular that Jesus wanted to tell us about heaven: it is the wedding vest. Heaven looks like a wedding. The main feast in our families and towns is the wedding feast of a couple who are entertained and celebrated by everyone dressing up, supporting the commitment of fidelity of the spouses, eating and drinking in superabundance, and singing and dancing of joy and jubilation. The whole person and all the people come into play and everyone is filled with joy and celebration. In the image of the wedding, the communal dimension of heaven is clearly visible among with the festive dimension at its best. For Jesus, heaven belongs to many or to all and it is a feast to which we are invited by the Father and in which the “bridegroom” will be the Son. Heaven cannot be a thing for “robinsons” or something boring and standing still. It is the highlight of the celebration, of communion, of solidarity, of fraternity, of familiarity, and everything around the central figure that is God the Father who welcomes us and embrace us in his Son. The great embrace will be the Holy Spirit.
What does this Kingdom of God consist of or what is its existential content?

SEE GOD. “Seeing” God is much more than looking or perceiving with your own eyes. In the Bible, “seeing” a person also implies a participation in the life of the person contemplated. It is living in His presence, closeness and favor. Seeing God is something existential. It is to be of God’s family and to be counted among His favorites. It is the communion of life with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And this is in a conscious, voluntary, and joyful way.

ETERNAL LIFE. It is life. It is not “death” or anything like it. It is life and therefore it is dynamic, activity, development, growth, positivity. It is a relationship, loving encounter, fraternal acceptance. It is creation, contemplation, joy. It is poetry, music, dance, art, Certainly all this life will be or will shared in the Life of the Risen Christ who is the source of life and who has come to give us Life and abundant Life. It is Eternal Life, a participation in the very Life of God.

BEING WITH CHRIST. “Seeing God” and “Eternal Life” are from Christ. Christ is the center of everything. There is today’s text from John, in which we want to read that “to see and to know God is equal to seeing and knowing Christ, just as He is.“Jesus is also the great mediator in heaven. The only mediator. Seeing Him, it will be as we see the Father. Meeting Jesus will be how we also meet within the dynamism of the Trinitarian Love. Only through the Son will we arrive and pass on to the Father or vice versa: only through the Son will the Life of the Father reach us and through Him we will be children of the Son. Heaven is “being with Christ”. To love Christ intensely. He is the culmination of our faith and hope.

I want to emphasize that we will all be “together” With each other. No one is “free.” And let it be clear that all this, which is the content of our hope because it is so, can already be anticipated in this world and in our land. Anticipating our history and time because if it is our hope, logically we will work in line with that hope and that is already anticipating the future reality to the present.

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