We do not talk about heaven enough. Heaven is our destination and our home. We are to live here on earth as travelers bound for a better place. Heaven is our joy and our motivation. We look forward to life in heaven, and we are willing to risk our earthly lives in pursuit of heaven because of this better goal. Yet, do we know what heaven will be like? Do we know what we are supposed to get excited about?
Our reading from the Book of Revelation gives us insight into the nature of our heavenly existence: “The city [the heavenly Jerusalem] had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.” Heaven has no need for a separate place for God, a temple, because the whole of heaven is God’s place; likewise, heaven needs no other source of light than God Who is the Light of the World. Simply put, heaven is that dimension where everything is rightly centered around and ordered toward God. Heaven is the perfect harmony of every voice singing in concert together, not in simple unison, but in the perfect mixture of all creation’s varied beauty.
Our earthly liturgy does its best to imitate heaven. We place the Tabernacle and Altar at the front and center, and all other ornaments are organized to draw your attention to the Presence of Jesus. We use beautiful gold and silver vessels to draw your eyes to the glory of God, and big, colorful windows to let in as much light as possible. We try to stuff as much beauty into the church as possible, including making ourselves beautiful by wearing our finest clothes and using our joyful voices to sing together.
We want every Mass to resemble heaven and make us excited about going to heaven. We are bound for a place where every moment is perfect, joyful union with God. The Eucharist, our foretaste and promise of heaven, ought to draw our hearts and minds heavenward. May we do everything we can, as individuals and as a parish, to make each Mass heavenly.