Third Sunday of Easter – Cycle B
Reflecting on Luke 24: 35-48
I love to read stories about near-death experiences. I’ve recently read two books about two different young boys who have “died” and returned, with wonderful, thrilling reports about what awaits us.
The first book, The Boy Who Went to Heaven (Kevin Malarkey), tells the story of a terrible car accident, and a boy who will be a quadriplegic the rest of his life. Yet this child (now a teenager) is radiant with joy because of what he saw in heaven when he “died”.
The second is the stunning Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie Stepanek (Stepanek). You may have seen Mattie on Oprah or many other television shows while he was alive. He was brought back from death several times as he struggled with a rare form of muscular dystrophy that had already taken his three siblings. “They’ve got it all wrong about the angels on the Christmas trees, “he said in wonder. “They’re so, so much more beautiful than words can describe.” He was almost fourteen when this Catholic poet/peacemaker went home to God.
We long to believe these near-death accounts, but perhaps we have doubts about exactly what happens when we die, and if our brains play tricks on us as they are shutting down.
But today we get a glimpse of heaven ourselves, as the resurrected Jesus appears to his disciples and says, “Have you anything to eat?” They are speechless. Astounded. And apparently just about to have lunch. Jesus knows just how to give them peace. When in doubt, eat together. And there he is, in the midst of them.
Have you ever had a “glimpse of heaven”?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).