The Kingdom of God is impossible to completely imagine, better than our wildest dreams. Heaven is the unimaginable come to life. That’s what Jesus is telling us.
The Word of God takes us back to the sixth century before Jesus. In the midst of the collapse of the Kingdom of the South, Ezekiel prophesizes that God will raise up a tender shoot, a majestic cedar tree, a leader, a Messiah who will bring blessings upon the Hebrews. Trust in God, Ezekiel proclaims.
St. Paul, in his letter to the Christian community in Corinth, urges us to be courageous, to “walk by faith,” to please God. All of us are called to seek what is right and true and good. And having found what is right and true and good: as the advertisement says, have the courage to just do it.”
As we seek the Kingdom of God, Paul would likely advise us: be men and women of moral character. Character is singular and defines who we are, at the core of our inmost self.
Character is ethical. By character, one stands out from the crowd. That takes courage.
Few of us will be called to the courage involved in, say, rescuing someone from a life-threatening situation. However, there is an everyday level of courage, to which all of us are called. It manifests itself in the choices that each of us must make about the fundamental values or virtues by which we live.
A person of moral character will go the extra mile to make something “just right.”
A person of character will speak up for what is right and will take a stand on principle and conscience -- yes, an informed conscience. A person of character will show courage, and try to choose what is right in all decisions, small and great, that affect work, career, family and social life, the raising of children, relationships.
We are blessed briefly by earthly life and promised an eternal life beyond our wildest dreams. If we are true to our inner best selves, we can overcome moments of anxiety that may sneak up on us from time to time.
Here are a few guideposts as we make our earthly pilgrimage toward our heavenly home.
The greatest joy............................. Giving
The most satisfying work.............. Helping others
The greatest "shot in the arm"..... Encouragement
The greatest asset........................ Faith in God
The most prized possession......... Integrity
The most powerful channel of communication..............