Father Philip Writes...
The Bible tells us that it is better than our present life and gives us a series of pictures, mostly in the form of visions. I have to admit that sitting around playing harps for eternity sounds rather boring! Basically heaven is beyond our comprehension. We must not treat visions as though they were literal – e.g. pearly gates, streets paved with gold. If we could talk to a baby in his or her mother’s womb, we could not explain to him or her what the world is like. All I can say about the nature of heaven is that it is a state of peace, joy, healing and beauty, where we will experience God ever present.
The Bible compares this resurrection with a growing seed being clothed with its appropriate plant-form. Our ‘resurrection’ bodies develop from the ‘seed’ of what we are now.
The Church believes the Blessed Virgin Mary has already reached this goal of resurrection. St John, in the Book of Revelation, writes:
Mary is a constant reminder of the saving work God wants to do in all our lives. He calls us to be faithful disciples like the perfect disciple, Mary. And if we persevere in our walk of faith as she did, we, too, will be raised in body and spirit in the glory of heaven.
What's on at St Mary's in August
In the parables told by Jesus of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price (St Matthew’s Gospel Ch. 13 v 44 and 45-46) both have the same message: the Kingdom of Heaven is worth investing everything we have to acquire it. St Augustine wrote: “Christ is not valued at all unless he is valued above all.”
Where do we discover God’s will?
An elderly lady in Scotland was so poor that her neighbours had to support her. They were happy to do this, but what bothered them was her son had gone to America and become rich. The mother defended her son, saying,
In the town of Swaffham in Norfolk, according to legend, there was a pedlar in the Middle Ages named John Chapman. He dreamed that if he went to London he would hear on London Bridge something to his advantage.
Some people believe the Kingdom of God is only for saints. Jesus always welcomed sinners – and a church which admitted only saints would make as much sense as a hospital which admitted only people who were well. The church is not a museum for saints but a school for sinners.
A precious diamond became deeply scratched, but a famous diamond-cutter took it and engraved a beautiful rose, using the deep scratch as the stem of the rose.
When we say a situation or a person is hopeless, we are slamming a door in the face of God.