To believe in heaven
In this Christian feast of “All Saints,” I want to express how I understand and try to live some aspects of my faith in eternal life. Those who know and follow Jesus Christ will understand me.
For me, to believe in heaven is to refuse to accept that the life of all and of each one of us is just a small parenthesis between two immense empty spaces. Relying on Jesus, I sense, feel, desire and believe that God is leading toward its true fullness our desire for life, justice and peace that is within creation and the heart of humanity.
For me, to believe in heaven is to rebel with all my strength against the idea that this huge majority of men, women and children who have known in this life nothing but misery, hunger, humiliation and suffering, will remain buried in oblivion forever. Trusting in Jesus, I believe in a life where there will no longer be poverty and pain, where no one will be sad, no one will have to cry. I will finally be able to see those coming in boats arrive at their true homeland.
For me, to believe in heaven is to draw near with hope to so many people without health, the chronically ill, the physically and mentally handicapped, those mired in depression and anxiety, those tired of living and struggling. Following Jesus, I believe that one day they will know what it is to live in peace and full health. They will hear the words of the Father: Come, share your Master’s joy forever.
I do not accept with resignation that God will always be a “hidden God,” whose gaze, kindness and embrace we can never know. I find it inconceivable that I will never meet Jesus. I do not accept that so much effort for a more human and happy world gets lost in emptiness. I want that the last will someday be first and that the prostitutes will enter before us. I want to know the true saints of all religions and of all kinds of atheism, those who spent their lives loving anonymously, expecting nothing.
One day we will be able to hear these unbelievable words that Revelation puts in God’s mouth: To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. Gift! Without deserving it. That is how God will quench the thirst for life that is within us.
November 1, 2015
Mark 5, 1-12a