With Our Eyes on Heaven
You and I know from experience that people in love surrender themselves unhesitatingly. Their hearts beat in a wonderful unison, with a single love. What then will the Love of God be like? Do you not realize that Christ has died for each and every one of us? Yes, for this poor little heart of ours, Jesus consummated his redeeming sacrifice.
Our Lord speaks frequently to us of the reward which he won for us by his Death and Resurrection. ‘I am going away to prepare a home for you. And though I do go away, to prepare you a home, I am coming back; and then I will take you to myself, so that you too may be where I am.’ Heaven is the final destination of our path on earth. Jesus has gone ahead of us and awaits us there, in the company of Our Lady and of St Joseph, whom I so much revere, and of all the angels and saints.
Even in the times of the Apostles there were heretics who tried to tear hope away from Christians. ‘If what we preach about Christ, then, is that he rose from the dead, how is it that some of you say the dead do not rise again? If the dead do not rise, then Christ has not risen either; and if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is groundless, and your faith too is groundless…’ Our way is divine, Jesus himself being the way, the truth and the life, and thus we have a sure token that it ends in eternal happiness, provided we do not separate ourselves from him.
How marvelous it will be when we hear Our Father tell us, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant, because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your Lord!’ Let us be full of hope! This is the great thing about being a contemplative soul. We live by Faith, Hope and Love, and Hope makes us powerful. Do you remember what St John says? ‘I am writing to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have conquered the evil one.’ God is urging us on, for the sake of the eternal youthfulness of the Church and of all mankind. You have the power to transform everything human into something divine, just as King Midas turned everything he touched into gold!
Do not ever forget that after death you will be welcomed by Love itself. And in the love of God you will find as well all the noble loves which you had on earth. Our Lord has arranged for us to spend this brief day of our earthly existence working and, like his only-begotten Son, ‘doing good’. Meanwhile we have to be on our guard, alert to the call St Ignatius of Antioch felt within his soul as the hour of his martyrdom approached. ‘Come to the Father,’ come to your Father, who anxiously awaits you.
Let us ask Holy Mary, Spes Nostra, our hope, to kindle in us a holy desire that we may all come together to dwell in the house of the Father. Nothing need disturb us if we make up our minds to anchor our hearts in a real longing for our true fatherland. Our Lord will lead us there with his grace, and he will send a good wind to carry our ship to the bright shores of our destination.
(St. Josemaria Escriva; Friends of God, no. 220-221)
“With Our Eyes On Heaven” is an excerpt from the homily The Christian’s Hope by St. Josemaria Escriva. The homily is published by Scepter Publishers in the book Friends of God. The content is intended for the free use of readers, and may not be copied or reproduced without permission from ©The Studium Foundation.
St. Josemaria Escriva, priest and founder of Opus Dei, was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002 and declared the “saint of the ordinary” for his example and teachings on the value of work and daily life as the path to holiness in the middle of the world.