But as it is written: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,” this God has revealed to us through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. (Matthew 5:12)
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)
Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people 4 and God himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away. (Revelations 21:3-4)
You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them, for they could not bear to hear the command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:18-24)
Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
Have you ever reflected on what is the nature of your heavenly reward (Matthew 5:12)? If you are like me, probably not very often. After all, doesn’t Scripture tell us that “eye has not seen” and “ear has not heard” what “God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Thus, I was delighted to read the meditation below for January 30, 2011 in The Word Among Us magazine. I hope it touches you as much as it did me.
There is no money in heaven, so the rich cannot lord it over the poor. There are no PhD’s in heaven, so the educated cannot lord it over the uneducated. There are no private golf clubs, Rolex watches, or limousines in heaven. The status and prestigious things that matter so much in this world simply don’t matter there.
Scripture tells us that in heaven, we will be like Jesus, “for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). We will be living in the city of God, a place of peace and rest and perfect joy.
So what will our reward in heaven be like? We will finally be free of all temptation and sin. Fear, disease, and sickness will be but a distant memory. There will be no need for doctors, police officers, armies, judges, or lawyers because everyone will be perfectly happy, peaceful, and healthy. There is no pain, suffering, or tears in heaven (Revelations 21:4) —no divorce or division of any kind. We will live in perfect communion with God and with each other forever and ever (21:3).
In heaven, we will see Jesus in all of his glory. We will be able to understand his love and his cross in new and profound ways. We will join thousands of angels, our friends and relatives, and all the saints (Hebrews 12:22-23). Who wouldn’t want to talk with Mother Teresa or Francis of Assisi or Paul? And surprisingly, they will want to talk with us, because there is no celebrity in heaven. Everyone is equal. Everyone is valued just as deeply.
Jesus wants to tell us what he once told his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Our heavenly Father delights in us, just as any earthly father delights in his children. Of course he wants to give us all good things! So rejoice today. You have a wonderful reward awaiting you!
“Jesus, I marvel at your salvation. Come and fill me with your joy!”
(Maurice Blumberg was the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), and is currently a Trustee. He is also the Director of Partner Relations for Partners in Evangelism, (http://www2.wau.org/partners/), a Ministry to the Military and Prisoners for The Word Among Us. Maurice can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
1. Take some time to meditate and reflect on the Scriptures at the beginning of the article. What do you think God is trying to reveal to you through them?
2. How does your understanding of your heavenly reward compare to the description in the Scriptures above or in the article? How does it differ?
3. The article ends with these words: “Our heavenly Father delights in us, just as any earthly father delights in his children. Of course he wants to give us all good things! So rejoice today. You have a wonderful reward awaiting you!” Do you believe that your heavenly Father delights in you and that you have a heavenly reward awaiting you? Why or why not?
4. What are the obstacles to your believing that there is a heavenly reward awaiting you? What steps can you take to overcome them?
5. At the end of your meeting, pray for one another for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit and a fresh revelation by the Spirit of your heavenly reward (1 Corinthians 2:10). Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.