As I watched our youth group’s amateur drone take off gracefully into the sky the other day, I thought about how transient our lives really are. We too will leave this earth, and hopefully we are aiming at heaven, and at good speed. All Saints and All Souls Day celebrations are reminders of this truth, but do we really believe it? In order to to look at the possibility of heaven we need to be reminded by the Church that God has a right to expect our holiness. We will hear Jesus tell us this Sunday, on All Souls Day that “this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life…” (John 6:40).
Should have eternal life is a very important phrase. God wants us forever present in heaven, and we should want this as well. Of course, we don’t think about it (and many other things) enough from God’s perspective. We want things, but they are always so limited, so temporal, that it is hard for us to think why we would want anything to be eternal, or even, what that means anyway. Sometimes we want important events and persons to be somehow enshrined or memorialized, in history books or statues and monuments, like this cool monument of Mark Twain I ran into (almost literally) in Newark, Ohio the other day… However long bronze might last, human memorials have little to do with actual eternity (which seems to have a lot of movement and celebration). May we hear the words of the Gospel during these “eschatological days of November” as we are called to holiness, encouraged by the recollection that God wants us to be holy, from the very foundation of the world (Eph 1:4), long long before anyone discovered the lasting properties of bronze.