Brothers and sisters,
We have a wonderful gathering planned for tomorrow afternoon! Not only will we celebrate All Saints’ Day with the children processing in with the Heavenly Branch banners, but we will also have four couples from the Formation District make their Underway Commitment with the hope of going Full Covenant at our next Convocation! Most of these couples have been with us for several years, so this will be exciting to have them make this commitment as we are joined together with our Heavenly Branch! Instead of having a party at the Center after the gathering, there will be an All Saints’ Day celebration and procession in the neighborhood starting at 6:00pm at the Spenla’s house followed by drinks and cookies in our driveway. I hope you can all make a special effort to attend this very special gathering and celebration afterward!
As we enter the month of November, our mass readings tend to be more eschatological in nature and point us toward looking at heaven. In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, he says that he considers the “sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us” (Rom 8:18). Now St. Paul knows a thing or two about suffering, so this is no trivial statement (see 2 Cor 11:24-27). In St. John’s first letter, he tells us that “we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed” (1 John 3:2). So we don’t really know what heaven will be like exactly, but we know it will be glorious!
Jesus gives us a hint of this when he asks, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it?” (Luke 13:19). He compares it to the mustard seed, the smallest of seeds, yet it grows to become a large bush and the birds of the sky dwell in its branches. The more I thought about this, the more I came to see that my view of heaven is like this little seed, and that’s all that I can see it to be, but in reality it is what Paul is expecting heaven to be, it’s actually this giant bush that has birds of the sky dwelling in it. It’s way beyond what I can imagine, and it’s going to be awesome!!
Well, we have the sure and certain hope that there are members of our Heavenly Branch that are right now partaking in the glorious joys of heaven! When we are together at our gathering tomorrow praising and worshiping the Lord, let us ask them to join us and give us an even bigger glimpse of what our heavenly glory will be!!