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Wonder of Heaven Here Today

First Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched: Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him. The court was convened, and the books were opened. As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 4-5

In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord. I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD when they hear the words of your mouth; And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD “Great is the glory of the LORD

Gospel: John 1:47-51

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.”

ESV

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I’m a day-dreamer. Sometimes the stories that swirl in my mind are outrageous, or romantic, or morbid, or just plain silly. More often, my mind races with ideas about what could be if XYZ happen? What will be in my real life if this certain thing might happen?

When I read today’s readings, and sit with them, I try to imagine what that day will be like, when the real events Jesus told Nathanael about do happen.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Can you imagine? The Book of Daniel talks about fire, myriads ministering to the Ancient One who sits on a throne of flames, “one like a son of man, on the clouds of heaven,” glory, and kingship.

I could sit and ponder and imagine for years what this will be like. The Son of Man, on clouds, with the Ancient One on a flaming throne, people serving the Son of Man . . . I can hardly even imagine what my reaction might be to see Jesus coming on the clouds, with countless angels around him. It sounds so amazing and fantastic—in the truest senses of the words. I imagine bright, vivid, beautiful colors. Joy. Awe. Wonder.

Some people believe that Jesus’ coming again will be soon, very, very soon. But you know? He comes to us in all this glory, angels included, every single day. Every day. We have the most amazing gift in the Mass and the Eucharist. We don’t have to wait for the “end” to behold the Son of Man in His glory. We need only go to Mass. Isn’t it incredible? Maybe the next time you are at Mass, a daily Mass or this Sunday, you can close your eyes during the consecration and after you receive the Eucharist, and imagine the glory that Daniel speaks of, imagine the angels around you, imagine Christ—the Son of Man—in His heavenly glory.

Imagine that around you. Because Christ is within you, and the Angels and all of Heaven are around you. I believe that one day there will be something like what Daniel describes, but don’t wait until then. Seek out the encounter with Christ now, and let the glory of his love fill your life here and now with all the wonder and beauty that His life brings to our lives.

photo by Corynne Olivia

Gina Fensterer is a wife, daughter, mother, friend, homeschooling mama and Colorado native. You can find out more about her here.

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