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When Heaven Kisses Earth

First Reading: Revelation 21:9B-14

The angel spoke to me, saying,
“Come here.
I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18

R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Gospel: John 1:45-51

Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

NAB

aug 24

Angels. Saints. Twelve tribes of Israel. Apostles. A city radiant with the glory of God. I often wonder and think about what Heaven is like sometimes; what exactly will this glorious place be like? Until we meet Jesus face to face, we have only our imaginations as to the splendor of God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

But God’s glory does not only reside in Heaven.

God’s glory is present in the Kingdom now here on earth. My sisters, we make present through our daily lives, vocations, jobs  the glorious splendor of God’s kingdom. Right in the here and now, wherever God has placed you! Through our actions and words, we bring about God’s Kingdom here on earth. As a baptized believer, we bear the very image of God to all people we meet and encounter. The Spirit that inspired the Apostles at Pentecost lives in us and sends us out on mission into our daily lives. He sends us on missions to help bring Christ to a broken, hurting, wounded world.

The splendor of Heaven kisses earth when we show patience and kind words to difficult people in our lives or when we pray from the heart for that person who has hurt you so deeply. The splendor of Heaven kisses earth when we extend more mercy, grace, and compassion instead of hate or judgment. The splendor of Heaven kisses earth each time we fight systems of injustices and racism to stand up for the hurting and oppressed. Each time we act a little bit more like Jesus Christ, Heaven and our lives here on Planet Earth collide.

“It only takes a little bit of mercy to make the world less cold and more just.” (Pope Francis at his first Angelus address.)

Where is God calling you to make Him more known in this world? What is God calling you to do for the Kingdom right here and now?

photo credit

Patty Hubbard is a runner, youth minister ordinaire, and recovering know-it-all. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.

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