Our Home is in Heaven
TUESDAY: Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Our Home is in Heaven
Our mortality is an inescapable truth. However, God as a response to our fallen nature designed death to protect the immortality of the soul of the righteous (Wis.4:11). Knowing God, loving God, and serving God, fundamentally prepare us for our death, resurrection and eternal life with God in heaven. I am a living witness to the fact that death can be procrastinated – but for how long. The day will come when we must all depart from this world – no matter how many times the doctors have rescued us from the jaws of death by God’s grace. Nothing, as Christians, should frighten us about death. Every living soul knows death is an inevitable reality. Paul reminds us today, that Christ by his death and resurrection has catered both for the mortality of the flesh and the immortality of the soul. By his death, Christ demonstrated for us that through faith, humility and obedience to God’s will, we have a place reserved for us in the resurrection and our eternal home in heaven (Ph.2:6-11).
The souls of the virtuous are not discardable material in the hands of God. There is no need to fear: God protects the soul even in death from torment and evil (Wis.3:1-9). Alive or dead we belong to the Lord (Rom.14:8; 1Thess.5:9-10). Christ specifically died to protect the immortality of the soul (Rmm.14:19). He preceded us in death, in the resurrection, and ascension into heaven where he is making the necessary arrangement for our homecoming into the Father’s house (Jn.14:3). Christ definitely is the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn.14:6). In other words, Christ is the example par excellence in matters of faith, humility and obedience, death, dying and coming to life again. If we imitate him, there is no need to fear the mortality of the flesh to preserve the integrity and immortality of the soul. Do not be misguided by those who tell you when you are dead it is the end of your existence. This is an act of basic mistrust in God and a lack of faith.
The Psalmist teaches us how to prepare for this glorious future with God. Yearned for only one thing he says, to live in the house of God all the days of your life, to enjoy the sweetness of God, and to dwell in his holy temple all the days of your life (Ps.27:4). The Psalmist was certainly not thinking about life on earth but an eternity with God.
The battle against the devil and the unclean spirits in today’s Gospel plays a pivotal role in helping us understand the sacredness of the human soul. The human soul uniquely belongs to God. It is not the abode of the devil and evil spirits. The image and likeness of God dwell chiefly in the soul, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us. Therefore, in life and in death the soul belongs to God (Rom.14:8). Thus, God will do all things possible to protect the dignity of the soul and prepare it for eternity with him.
The exorcism in today’s Gospel is not about the display of God’s power as much as it is a demonstration of God’s love for the salvation of humankind and the preservation of the soul and the desire to see to it that everyone has a fair chance to live forever in the kingdom of the Father (Ps.90:4.14-17; 2Pet.3:8-9). What about us? Where are we today? Are we giving the soul the attention it deserves? In addition, are we ready if the Lord should call to account today?
Lord, prepare me and I will let my soul be cleansed by your love and your mercy. I long to dwell in your temple forever.