THE OTHER SIDE
He will change
our lowly body to conform with His glorified Body by the power that
enables Him also
to bring all things into subjection to Himself. (Phil 3:19)
A very sick and frightened
man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room.
"Doctor, he said, I am afraid to die. I need to know what to expect when I go to heaven.
Please tell me what lies on the other side."
The doctor thought hard about this question.
He wanted to offer comfort to his
patient but did not know what to say. In the end he decided to tell this man the
truth. Very quietly, the doctor said, "I don't know."
"You don't know? You are telling me you don't know! Then why do you
want to go to heaven if you don't know. You, a Christian man, do not know what is on
the other side?"
The doctor, who began
to feel uneasy and clearly wanting to escape the patient's questions,
was nervously holding the handle of the door. As he stood there trying to give some
kind of assurance,
from the other side came a sound of scratching and loud whining. As the doctor
opened the door, a dog sprang into the room with his tail wagging with an eager show of
gladness to see his master.
Turning to the patient, the doctor said, "Did you notice my dog? He's never
been in this room before. He didn't know what was inside... He knew nothing except
that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I
know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing. I know
my Master is there and that is enough. And when the door opens, I shall pass through
with no fear, but with gladness."
Like the sick patient, how many of us wonder and
want to know what heaven will really be like? Throughout history mankind has
pondered this question. The concept that eternity is a place of pure joy and
happiness is not clearly defined. We understand the miracle of seeing God face to
face, the precious adoration of Him as our heavenly Father, and seeing and talking with our
Savior Jesus Christ. But this transcendence seems at
times too big for our human minds to fully comprehend.
Father Scott Hurd, a priest
of the Archdiocese of Washington, has this to say: "When asked what heaven will
be like, an American bishop wrote of his first visit to his parents native village
in Italy. Because he had seen pictures of it for years, everything looked familiar to him
when he arrived in person. I know this place, he thought. I am finally
at home. He hoped that he would feel the same way, that he was finally at home, upon
"Heaven is indeed our true home, as Jesus
explained. He was speaking during the Last Supper with His disciples, who were
troubled that He was soon to leave them. Jesus soothed their fears by explaining
that His departure was a good thing, because He was going to prepare a place for them in
heaven. Yet He would return one day to take them to their heavenly home- the Fathers
"There is room for us in the Fathers
house, too. This is a hope for us when life gets hard. It reminds us that
weve not yet arrived at our final destination, as this life is but a way station to
a better place. As He did with His disciples, Jesus tells us not to
worry, because regardless of where this life takes us, (through our faith in Christ) we
are always homeward bound.
- Father Hurd
Revelation 21:1-4 reads:
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and
the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I,
John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of
heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a
great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God
with men, and He will dwell with them. And they shall be His
people; and God Himself with them shall be their God. And God
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no
more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any
more pain, for the former things are passed away."
is a place of eternal goodness and happiness for it is a place of
fathomless joy. The peace will be endless, without earthly
burdens. We will sit in perfection with all those we have loved and
they will surround us and share in God's glory in perfect bodies
that are imperishable.
Pope John Paul speaking on Heaven as His theme at
a General Audience of 21 July 1999 tells: "Heaven
is neither an abstraction not a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal
relationship with the Holy Trinity. It is our meeting with the Father which takes place in
the risen Christ through the communion of the Holy Spirit....we will try to
understand the biblical meaning of heaven, in order to have a better
understanding of the reality to which this expression refers. In biblical language heaven, when it is joined to the
'earth, indicates part of
the universe. Scripture says about creation: 'In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth' (Genesis 1:1), Heaven is the transcendent dwelling-place of
the living God.
"St. Paul emphasizes our meeting with Christ in heaven at the end
of time with a vivid spatial image: "Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall
always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words" (1
"By His death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has
"opened' heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect
possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in
His heavenly glorification those who have believed in Him and remained faithful to
will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into
Christ" (n. 1026).
Father John P Arendzen, in his book about
"Heaven Sense", tells us: "Some folks still think Heavens a
land of clouds and harps, while others imagine it as a grand resort where fishermen always
land the big one and all golfers shoot under par. Many confess theyre not sure
about the details, but one thing they know for certain: there will be no troubles or tears
in Heaven. For each of us, Heaven will be whatever makes us feel good...."
"Harps and golf and stress-free living? Did
Jesus die to make us cozy? Or suffer His Passion so we could just have fun? This
book replaces such nonsense with Heaven sense. Confining himself to the teachings of
Christ and the Church, Fr. J. P. Arendzen tells us in his book that Heaven is grander
and more intense than any of these bland modern notions of it. Heaven teems with bold
Christians who've fought the good fight, won the battle, and entered into the land of
their conquest; ardent souls eager for the God they've served so well."
"In Heaven, these good men and women see God
face-to-face. They will experience directly His power, majesty, and love.
Their bodies glorified, their minds perfected, they commune with Christ in His human
nature.... Exuberance is theirs, and as much joy as each can handle.
Such is the vibrant life of Heaven, a fitting reward for souls who, in faith and love,
persevere to the end." John P. Arendzen, Phd,
D.D., M.A. (1873-1954). A native of Amsterdam, He spent his life as a priest
spreading the faith in England. His eloquence and clarity led the Daily Mail to name him
one of Englands Preachers of the Century. J. P. Arendzen, a priest
of the Catholic Missionary Society, was one of the chief Catholic writers of the early
portion of this century.
Pope John Paul continues here, "We know that
as we pass through this world we are called to seek the things that are above, where
Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Col 3:1), in order to be with him in the
eschatological fulfillment, when the Spirit will fully reconcile with the Father "all
things, whether on earth or in heaven" (Col 1:20). "...We are saved from
going to hell by Jesus who conquered Satan. Christian faith teaches that in taking
the risk of saying "yes" or "no", which marks the human creature's
freedom, some have already said no. They are the spiritual creatures that rebelled against
God's love and are called demons (cf. Fourth Lateran Council, DS 800-801). What happened
to them is a warning to us; it is a continuous call to avoid the tragedy which leads to
sin and to conform our life to that of Jesus who lived His life with a
Heaven or Hell, what will it
be? Where will you spend eternity?
eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared
for those who love Him. 1Corinthians 2 8-9
St. John tells,
"Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as
crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed
down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew
a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop
each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of
God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship
Him. And they will see His face, and His name will be written on
their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps
or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign
forever and ever. Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have
heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires
His prophets, has sent His angel to tell His servants what will
"Look, I am
coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy
written in this book.” I, John, am the one who heard and saw all
these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship
at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said, “No,
don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your
brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in
this book. Worship only God!”
instructed me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for
the time is near. Let the one who is doing harm continue to do
harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who
is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy
continue to be holy.”
“Look, I am
coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people
according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First
and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Blessed are those who
wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates
of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Outside the
city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the
murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
“I, Jesus, have
sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both
the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright
morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who
hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone
who desires drink freely from the water of life. And I solemnly
declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this
book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add
to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone
removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove
that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that
are described in this book. He who is the faithful witness to all
these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord
Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.
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