Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Acts 13:14,43-52; Psalm 100:1-3,5; Revelation 7:9,14-17; John 10:27-30)
Heaven, Our Inheritance as Beloved Children of God
They were … wearing white robes. (Revelation 7:9)
Jesus, I can’t wait to get to heaven and put on my white robe. It’s going to be so exciting, experiencing the greatest victory of my life—and I didn’t even do the hard part. You took care of that for me when you died on the cross!
Lord, I can’t wait to be with all of my family, my friends, and even all of my ancestors from generations past. It’s going to be so fascinating to learn about where I came from and to hear the stories of all those who have gone before me. I can’t wait to meet all the saints as well and to finally discover their ways of holiness. From the Virgin Mary all the way down to Mother Teresa and John Paul II, I want to see through their eyes what it is like to have lived in such a deep union with you, Jesus.
I can’t wait to join in the heavenly worship that is constantly going on before your throne, Lord. I wonder how similar it will be to our Sunday Mass? I wonder if the sense of joy and peace I get when my pastor lifts up the Host at Mass is anything like the joy I will experience when I put on my white robe and stand before you, singing your praises and rejoicing in your love and glory. Lord, I can’t wait to experience this!
Most of all, Lord, I can’t wait to finally see you face-to-face. I can’t wait to thank you for coming in the flesh. I can’t wait for the day when I can throw my arms around you and thank you for dying for my sins on the cross!
Lord, I really don’t know what heaven will be like. But I do know that when we proclaim the mystery of faith at Mass today, I will say it just a bit more loudly than usual. I long for the day when I can put on my white robe and be with you forever!
“Save us, Savior of the world!”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- In the first reading, Luke describes the moment when St. Paul obeys God’s command and begins giving the Good News of Christ to the Gentiles. We too have been called to share the Gospel with others. With whom do you think God may be asking you to share the news of Christ? What keeps you from doing it? The reading ends with: “The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52). Why do you think this was so?
- In the Responsorial Psalm, we hear these words: “Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands: serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song” (Psalm 100:1-2). What are some of the reasons listed for this joy and gladness? Our own joy and gladness is not a shallow giddiness. Because of Christ, death’s “victory” over us has been destroyed. We will live forever in an eternal experience of the love of God our Father! What can you do to make your life a greater reflection of this expectation?
- In John’s vision of Heaven in the Second Reading, we are told of the vast number gathered around the throne of God, “from every nation, race, people, and tongue.” God’s mercy and love is for everyone. Are there people from nations, races, or tongues you exclude from your love? What about the person who cut you off in traffic? What about a boss or co-worker or a family member? What steps can you take to reflect God’s love to these persons?
- In the Gospel, Jesus says “my sheep hear my voice”. How good are you at hearing the voice of Jesus, our Shepherd? What practical steps can you take this week to make yourself more available to “hear” his voice?
- Also in the Gospel, are there any more comforting and reassuring thoughts than the knowledge that we are held in the Father’s and Jesus’ hands and that no one can change that? In what way, does your daily life reflect that reality? What can you do to increase your confidence in this reality for your life?
- The meditation opens with these words: “Jesus, I can’t wait to get to heaven and put on my white robe. It’s going to be so exciting, experiencing the greatest victory of my life—and I didn’t even do the hard part. You took care of that for me when you died on the cross!” Thanks to the redemption Jesus won for us, heaven is our inheritance, and every day brings us one step closer to our true home. How often do you think about your heavenly inheritance? In what ways does pondering this heavenly reality impact the way you live out your life on earth?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord to give you a greater faith and hope, and a greater expectancy, for the heavenly inheritance that awaits you. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.