How to Stay Prepared

Many years ago I used to visit a senior center through a local parish, and we would have a Mass there and I would give presentations, too. I remember one time getting up to speak and looking out at all the seniors gathered silently together in one room, and it occurred to me what was happening in the nursing home. It was a preparation. They were from all different families, but they were preparing for a life together forever.

But what are they preparing for?

I’ve spent a few days with the people that I spent the first months of the pandemic with here in Chontal. And that means sharing again so many of the good memories of what we did together during that time. When we have good experiences, we need to share them, to tell about them. And that deepens our gratitude.

There are many opinions of what heaven is like, and nobody can really know until you go. But I think there are some things for certain.

Imagine what it’s like to reach the end of your life, and it’s your time to go into death. Imagine passing into that place, and at some point, in some way, you come out of death into new life with Jesus. And you look around, and there are so many people, family and people you never knew. I think I know what you will say: Wow. That’s what we say when there are no words. You will have passed through death into eternal life. You will see your whole life, and it will all make sense, every bit of it, and you will experience an infinite love. It will be an experience beyond all other possible experiences, and you will have to tell someone. So, you go to someone and you say, “I can’t believe this is happening!” And they will see, “Me neither – did you see that? We passed through death! Through death!” There will be a lot of stories to tell over and over and over again.

And you’ll feel at home because everybody has had the same experience. Everybody. Everyone’s life will make sense, and you’ll know how every moment of every life was special, and part of a great, connected plan of love. There was never a reason to worry or be afraid. 

And your gratitude to God, to Jesus, to everyone will deepen. Your love too. It will all be beyond words.

And it will never end – the rest and peace and love.

There’s probably more, I don’t know. But I think that is certain about heaven.

Don’t forget. Don’t forget.

Don’t forget what God has planned for you, for each of us.

And that will keep you prepared.

Because we’re all going to be living together forever.

“Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.” (Lk 12:37)

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