One of the blessings of being an alumna is having Fr. Bill Rowland as our alumni chaplain. Every time he preaches or every time we get a chance to interact, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. The other week at the Marist Family Mass, Fr. Bill Rowland gave an amazing homily that I will attempt to summarize, but will probably do it a complete injustice. Family Mass was the final event of our Reunions weekend, and was a fitting end to reunions in the Marist Way.
The second reading was from Revelations, and St. John was describing heaven as a radiant, gleaming city coming down from the sky. Fr. Rowland was explaining to all of us that Marist is also like a city – a city that never sleeps. There is always a hustle and bustle at Marist – students moving across the campus getting from tutorial to practice, celebrations and banquets, performances, and outside organizations utilizing our facilities when they have none of their own. Marist is a city of excitement, electricity and constant motion – even more so now as we approach graduation and the end of year. You can feel it in the air.
He then described heaven as a city – a city of light, joy and dancing. A city where there are no more tears, no more death, no more disappointment. A city where all of the faithful spend their days in the presence of their Creator, among all their loved ones, and all the saints and angels. Forever!
As a Christian I certainly aspire to live now as to live that way in the future. What more could I ask for? However, it feels a little far away right now. It probably should not, as we all see time and time again that our time is not our own, but God’s.
For now, I love when God gives me a glimpse of what life in heaven with Him might look and feel like. My family and I always joke that heaven looks like the view from my parents’ back deck. Sometimes I feel heaven when I’m standing on the beach looking at the ocean and a cool breeze comes up unexpectedly. Just this week two people (one a complete stranger, one a friend) said something so wonderfully kind to me that I felt heaven, right here in Atlanta. One weekend morning a few months ago, we literally had a dog pile on our master bed. My entire family – including my two teenagers, two dogs and two cats – somehow ended up on our bed. We were laughing and relaxing and just enjoying each other’s company – and I looked around and thought, “This is what heaven must be like.”
So I am thankful that God gives us these glimpses of our future with Him. It makes me want to be a better person, so that I too can join my loved ones who have passed and spend eternity with all those who love God in a city that never sleeps – a city of light, joy and dancing. Let’s sign up for that!
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” – John 17:3
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
– Revelation 21:4
An excerpt from the song “Where I Belong,” by Building 429
“So when the walls come falling down on me
And when I’m lost in the current of a raging sea
I have this blessed assurance holding me.
All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong
When the earth shakes I wanna be found in You
When the lights fade I wanna be found in You”
Wishing you some God moments this week where you experience a tiny glimpse of heaven!