This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

And what is heaven again?

So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:16-20

This passage from Hebrews helps me remember that whatever we can say about "Heaven" or the life to come is not true but only our incomplete way of trying to describe something totally beyond our understanding, even beyond our level of being. It encourages my natural skepticism about those who have had "near death" experiences--some even claim to have truly died--and then returned to tell us of their experience of heaven. These experiences are naturally enough filled with human experiences, people, and understanding but heaven by definition is beyond all that. Eternal life with the Divine is life beyond all understanding, beyond all human categories.

The author of Hebrews uses here an analogy--analogies are the best we can do when trying to describe people and experiences substantially different from the human--from Temple worship. This is apt since this letter is addressed to Jews who had become followers of Christ. Our hope is that we too will go behind, go beyond the veil into the very presence of the Divine much as the High Priest once a year entered into the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem Temple. We follow Christ there who is our brother. He is the "forerunner" whom we follow.

And what is behind the veil? We cannot know other than life with the Divine. Somehow we who are faithful will enter into the life of the Trinity where we will take our place with our adopted brother/sister Jesus Christ, the very Word of the Divine. This must surely be a matter of transformed consciousness about which we can say very little and nothing that is completely accurate, or even close to accurate. Yet for all its lack of specifics, it is this promise that resounds in my soul rather than the pastoral life of happiness where everyone lives whole and entire and happily ever after.

We do live eternally with the Divine but it is behind the veil.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Charissa Run,Rochester,United States

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