The Ascension of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ into Heaven, 40 days after the Resurrection is sure reason for
hope, happiness and joy as our heavenly home awaits all of us who love the
Lord, follow His Commandments and serve Him in love by serving our brothers and
sisters, especially the poor, forgotten, marginalized and the abandoned.
Could it not be clearer on how to get
to heaven, the words of Jesus: “I was
hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and in prison and a foreigner and you helped
me! Whatsoever you did to these least of
my brothers, that you did to me.” (Mt 25, The Parable of the Judgment of the
Life is short; eternity is long and
forever. St. Peter puts it bluntly: “In the eyes of God one day is like a thousand
years and a thousand years is like one day.”
Augustine with his typical precision and eloquence asserts: “Our life in
comparison to eternity is like a bat of the eye!”
Jesus promises us the best! “I am going to prepare a place for you
so that where I am you also might be. In
my Father’s house there are many mansions. If it were not so I would not have
told you so.” (Jn. 14). Wow! To think that Jesus has prepared a mansion
for me, ready for me in heaven that is waiting for me right now-- that should motivate me to live now like a
citizen of heaven and leave all the encumbrances of the past and focus on the
Lord Jesus who perfects my faith. (Hebrews).
What is heaven like??? We really do
not know absolutely! However St. Paul
offers us a glimpse of an insight, with these encouraging words: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has
it entered into the mind of God the wonderful things that God has prepared for
those who love Him.” (I Cor.2:9)
Again, “The sufferings of this present world cannot be compared to the
glory that awaits the sons and daughters of God.” (Rom. 8:18)
St. Paul highlights the fact that
what we sow in this life is what we will reap for eternity. If we sow in the
flesh, then we will reap a harvest of corruption, but if we sow in the spirit,
it will be a harvest of eternal life.”
The Book of Revelation compares the
saints to the shining stars in the heavenly firmament. The great theologian Hans Von Balthasar
stated that in the firmament of heaven there are many stars that shine; however,
some stars exceed others in brilliance. How? The more we live out the
commandment of love in this life the more brilliant will be our refulgence for
all eternity in the firmament of heaven!
The purpose of our short stay in this
world is to get to heaven! This is
Principle and Foundation and as well the
traditional catechism. “I am created to
know God, love God, serve God in this life so as to be happy forever with Him
An EXERCISE! Call to mind the happiest day or hours or
even hour of your life! What peace, joy,
happiness, jubilation and consolation you experienced in that specific
time! Now! Magnify that joy a million times; now add to
that one more important ingredient: ETERNITY--- that means, forever and ever
and ever! Bingo! There you have a mere
glimpse of what heaven will be like!
Heaven sparks hope in our hearts, amidst the problems, sorrows,
contradictions, pains, and sufferings of life!
All of it will pass and disappear. That is why the great St Teresa of Avila stated that our life on
earth is like one bad night in a bad tavern!
If we simply pray, persevere in grace and the love of God, are faithful
to our daily duties, and die in grace, then heaven is ours.
Therefore, in honor of Our Lord’s Ascension
and Mary’s Assumption, often lift up your mind, heart, soul and being to
heaven. Have your hearts fixed on the
higher realms where Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father!
HOW CAN WE ARRIVE SAFELY HOME TO HEAVEN
AND BE HAPPY FOREVER???
1. PRAYER! All the saints are in heaven due to prayer;
all the damned are in hell because they did not pray or gave up prayer. Listen
to the saints, starting with St. Alphonsus:
“He who prays well will be saved; he who prays little places in jeopardy
his salvation; he who does not pray will be damned.” Augustine outdoes himself
with “He who prays well lives well; he who lives well dies well; and he who
dies well, all is well!” Fantastic!
Proposal! Try to pray a little bit more and a little bit better all the days of
2. EUCHARIST! Read John 6—the “Bread of Life Discourse”. In unequivocal and transparent words and
concepts Jesus affirms that our salvation depends on our nourishing our souls
on “The Bread of Life”. “I am the Bread
of life, whoever eats my body and drinks my blood will have eternal life and I
will raise him up on the last day…” Heaven starts on earth by allowing the
Bread of life that descended from heaven to lift you to heaven by frequent and
fervent Holy Communions! Start today: daily Mass and Holy Communion!
3. WORKS OF MERCY! Our love for God cannot be sterile, like the
fig tree that Jesus cursed because it bore no fruit. We are called to bring forth fruit and fruit
in abundance. “I am the vine and you are the branches. You must bring forth
fruit and fruit in abundance.” Jesus said clearly that He came to bring life
and life in abundance. (Jn. 15). The
most clear and concrete program for works of mercy is found in Mt. 25. Feeding the hungry, slaking the thirst of the
thirsty, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger and visiting both the sick
and the prisoner. All this is done for Jesus and the reward will be great in
heaven! To St Faustina Jesus encouraged
at least one act of mercy every day: either by prayer, word or deed! Remember,
however, charity begins at home!
4. END TO SIN! Of course we always must be attentive, vigilant
and faithful to our daily examen and as well as frequent confession, striving
on a daily basis to eliminate as much as possible the poison, contagion, and
spiritual leprosy of sin in entering our lives. One thing that does not exist
in heaven is SIN! St. Dominic Savio’s
motto was “ Death rather than sin!”
5. MARY! The greatest joy that we can bring to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary is to strive on a daily basis to avoid sin, grow in
prayer, practice virtue and live holy lives, persevere in grace and finally die
in grace. For that reason, the prayer
that Mary loves so much is related to heaven. The words, “Pray for us now and
at the hour of our death, Amen,” are words in which we implore Mary for “the
grace of all graces” and it is the grace to die in the state of grace so as to
attain the purpose of my existence: to live for God, die in God’s love so as to
be welcomed into the eternal embrace of God.
Hope, happiness, and our Heavenly
Home! Let us live this short life with our whole being yearning for God, so as
to attain His Friendship for all eternity.
“As the deer yearns for the running streams so my soul yearns for you my