As is the norm, the readings from these final weeks of the Liturgical Year remind us that all that surrounds us in this world will one day pass away. The Psalm selection today puts it well in stating clearly that the LORD is our inheritance. Even Jesus in Mark’s Gospel tells us that the heavens and the earth will pass away. I’m not sure the statement that even heaven will pass away ever caught my attention as it did this morning. Even heaven will pass away!
This causes me to recall a comment from Pope John Paul II, now a saint, that heaven is not a place; it is a relationship. Heaven is being in the presence of God, the Creator of all things, for the rest of eternity. It seems the reality of eternity is even more intimate. eternity will allow not just to be in God’s presence, but, In God Himself. After all, before the existence of all things, we were drawn forth from God; from the love of God. It is not surprising that this is to be our final destiny.
God created the earth, the entire universe, and called it good. Then, he created man and woman, placed them upon the earth, gave them dominion over all He had created, charging them to till and keep the earth as its stewards. All that exists was drawn forth from the immense reality of God. All created things sing the praise of God. Some day, which only God knows, all will return to Him.
This life journey is a pilgrimage of faith in God. In this world and this life, we learn to discover the Creator from all that He has created. In this life, we learn to live in justice with one another, in a proper co-existence with creation, and in an ever deeper, life-giving love with God Himself.
The close of every Liturgical Year also reminds us of a coming judgement, when God will honor the choices we have freely made in this life. God honors our “Yes” to Him and calls us into life eternal. God will also respect those who say “No” to Him, and they will find themselves outside of His coming Kingdom. Ours is not to judge. Ours is to freely decide, in every aspect of life, whether we will live in justice and peace with God, one another, and all of creation, or not.
These truths are meant to inform us about how we are to live day-to-day. In the end, we own nothing; all has been entrusted to us for a short period of time. In the end, all that matters is serving the Lord, fulfilling His will, which also entails loving one another.
Well, the boarding process is beginning, and a new week awaits. Please know of my prayers for all of you. Please keep the bishops in your prayers as we gather for our annual November business meetings this week.