What a Place!

1 John 3:2

Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Yesterday we talked about the pity of God making us strong rather than just leaving us where we were.  Today’s verse talks about where we are going: Heaven.  Heaven is a real place.  Indeed, it is the placiest place of all.  It is not a “state of mind”.  Hell is a state of mind: it is the mind and soul locked into the furnace of Self.  But Heaven is where we encounter God in all fullness.  And wherever encounter happens, there is a “place”.  Place is different from mere “location”.  Location is something out of mathematics or physics.  It’s a mere point on a chart somewhere.  But when encounter with God or another person happens a mere mathematical location is transfigured into a place.  A house becomes a Home.  Four walls becomes a sanctuary.  A geographical elevation becomes Mt. Sinai.  And all these little encounters with another are foretastes of our Final Encounter with Another which is Heaven.  That’s why Heaven’s so placey.  We don’t know exactly what it will be like since “eye hath not seen nor ear heard.”  And yet, in another sense, Heaven shall not be alien to us, but the greatest Homecoming we have ever known, for in becoming “like him” we shall at last be fully ourselves too.  Today, pray “Thy Kingdom come” and seek to be a little bit more like Jesus than you were yesterday.  In so doing, you will find your place.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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