Get Ready for Heaven

Dear Parishioners,

We shape heaven. That's right. What heaven is going to be and look like is determined, partly, by our design. Jesus tells us this much: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt 18:18).

I think we have this impression that everything starts over when we enter the pearly gates. As long as we've been good enough on this earth to make it to heaven, it doesn't really matter what has happened in this life. All is erased with heaven.

Not quite. Though our sins, faults, and imperfections will be burned away in Purgatory (yep, Purgatory exists), our personhood will remain. The personhood—who we truly are—is shaped by how we have lived on earth. Heaven will heighten us and make us glow. So it's best that we use this time on earth to make us the best individuals possible. The "stuff" that clings to us—what we bind—will stay; the "stuff that we let go of—what we loose—will be gone.

That is why Jesus warns his disciples to settle differences and why Paul exhorts the Romans to “owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another” (Rom 13:8).

So let's take care of how we shape ourselves and the good "stuff" that we attach to our personhoods. It will be with us forever!

I will meet with our school board tomorrow, Monday, September 11th. We have a tremendous group of dedicated parents, led by Joan Lynch, the board's president, helping me and Mrs. Marshall take our school to the next level. Our school year is off to a good start!

This Tuesday, September 12th at 7pm in the chapel I will discuss the Miracles of Jesus in my Tuesday Theology Series. We will cover our Lord's miracles, the meaning behind them and the nature of miracles in general.

Prior to my seminar on Tuesday, I will speak at our school's Back to School Night at 6:30pm in the gym. Good luck to the parents and teachers that night! Also best of luck to our students, parents, catechists, and everyone else involved in Religious Education. RE starts this Wednesday, September 13th.

Uncle Pete's Sack Lunch will be collected in the back of the church this weekend. Special thanks to the Missionary Spirit Team for coordinating this fine effort. They will load the lunches on Tuesday morning and I'm sure would appreciate any help if you are able!

Once again, we welcome our two new seminarians, Hank Lyon and Ankit Mathews, to our parish. Hank and Ankit will be with us throughout the year, and will be returning to our parish each year until their ordination.

Thank you to Jen Bielfeldt and all who helped organize and run the Last Daze of Summer BBQ last night. It was a great event!

Finally, today, September 10th, is the opener for our St. Juliana football team. Boys, I'm more interested in watching you than the Bears today.

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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