Eternal life. It may seem that the current lockdown seems to be going on for eternity. But we must be careful how we use the word eternity. Hopefully it will conjure up the thought and hope of being in the presence of God for all eternity. Now, that is something worth waiting for and of course co-operating with the grace and will of God the Father through His Son in the power of the Holy Spirit!

In this Sunday’s Gospel[1] we have part of the Priestly Prayer of Jesus. “Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that your Son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your Son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.[2]

This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed – is called ‘heaven.’ Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfilment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness…to live in heaven is ‘to be with Christ’.”[3]

By his death and resurrection Jesus Christ has unlocked the door to heaven.[4]This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: ‘no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him’.”[5]

After the lockdown our lives will more or less continue as the same. However, in one area let each of us focus more not on the things of this earth but on the things of heaven – in other words on eternity! For life passes by quickly and, of course, eternity never passes by!

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

 

[1] Jn.17:1-11A

[2] Jn. 17:1-3

[3][3] Catechism of the Catholic Church #1024-1025

[4] Ibid., #1026

[5] 1.Cor.2:9/ Catechism of the Catholic Church 2026-1027