“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” John 14: 2-3
It’s fun to think about heaven. Of course I can’t wait to meet the Lord face to face and see my parents again and my sister who died when I was 13! But I also imagine meeting and hanging out with people like Pope John XXIII, St. Francis, and St. Padre Pio (just to name a few.) I want to experience Pope John’s humor first-hand; kick off my sandals, lay down in a field and look at the stars with St. Francis; and hear what it’s like to bi-locate from St. Padre Pio! Who do you want to see?
I’m also hoping to get a front row seat for a re-enactment of the parting of the Red Sea. Or maybe I can just go back in time to be there for the real thing? Anyway, I’ve heard some scholars believe that the sea was actually very shallow, so it wasn’t a big deal for God to part it, but then there’s the little boy who says, “That makes it even more of a miracle, to drown an army in just a few inches of water!” I’m holding out for a tall wall of water, but either way, I just want to see it for myself!
But back to Jesus saying He’s going to prepare a place for each of us… When our daughter Sister Cecilia Rose is coming home for her once-a-year visit we get really excited! I enjoy getting her room ready for her and making sure we have her favorite food on hand. I put little notes around the house for her to find saying welcome home, or we’ve missed you, or an affirming scripture verse that I think will bless her. We also plan a home mass and dinner where friends and family can reconnect and hear the latest stories of life in the convent. It’s a way for us to celebrate God’s goodness to us.
So, now imagine arriving in heaven yourself. The Lord will have done all of this and so much more preparing for your homecoming because He loves you so much and knows you so well! Never lose your hope of heaven. It is what helps us get through all of the trials down here. Look me up when you get there, and we’ll go on an adventure together.