Reflecting on John 14: 1-12
I really liked the movie Heaven is for Real, but of course when I googled it I found all kinds of naysayers. Atheists found it ridiculous, of course. Some fundamentalist Protestants are boycotting it because too many of the wrong people, people who had never publicly “accepted Christ as their personal Savior”, showed up in heaven. Some fundamentalist Catholics are suspicious of the child’s account of his visit to heaven because he doesn’t have vivid memories of seeing Mary there.
I liked the book too, especially the incredulity of Colton’s Methodist minister father and, oddly, the hostility of the congregation toward the four-year-old’s account of his experience. The most embarrassing kind of Christian, for some, is the one who believes magical things about an actual heaven, and an actual God who rules there. Sophisticated Christians, in their view, are past all that.
I think the author of the Fourth Gospel, which we call John’s gospel, would like the movie too, especially the end. Colton’s father Todd asks his grumbling congregation a series of questions. What is God’s will? That we love one another. Why? Because God is love, and we who abide in love abide in God. And where is God’s will being done? On earth as it is in heaven. That’s a perfect summary of John’s gospel.
Conclusion: Love is the bridge between heaven and earth. God, says the minister, showed Colton what we all need to know about heaven: it is love, only and always. The people we loved on earth are being loved in heaven.
We have not been left as orphans here on earth. Rather, we are connected, through the Mystical Body, on earth as we are in heaven.
How do you sense your connection with your loved ones in heaven?