What Will Heaven Be Like?

Father Jerome Dugas

What Will Heaven Be Like?                                  

In Sacred Scripture, the Sadducees challenged Jesus with a difficult but interesting question.  "

"If a woman gets married and her husband dies and she marries again, in the next life, whose wife will she be?"

To be totally, completely, 100% honest with you!  I, too, want to know: whose wife will she be?

I have other questions, too, about our life after we die.

Like a kid, I want to know:

----What are we going to do in heaven all the time?

----Will we be able to hunt and fish?

----Will there be any woods or places like the Spillway?

----Will we be able to play some football again?

----If so, how would we take losing?

I hate to mention it, but suppose the person we love the most is not in heaven.  How will we not miss that person?

How will we look in heaven?

Will we be tall, dark, and handsome? Or will we have a potbelly, be bald-headed and doublewide in the hips?

In Sacred Scripture, it says we will be like angels.

If so, will we look like that angel in the Christmas movie:  It's a Wonderful Life-- you know that angel that looks like somebody's comical uncle, or will we look like the angel in the movie:  The Bishop's Wife--that angel was good-looking Carey Grant.

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During the time of Christ the Hebrew religion was divided into two main groups:  The Pharisees and the Sadducees.  You've heard about them over and over again in the New Testament.

Both groups believed very strongly in God, but their main difference was that the Pharisees believed in life after death --in other words they believed in a heaven.  The Sadducees did not believe in life after death.

In Scripture, Christ argues with the Sadducees on their terms.  That's why his answer does not really satisfy us.  We would have loved Christ to describe heaven to us and give us the answer to the question whose wife will she be, but he does not and he probably could not.  In another context we read:  "Eye has not seen.  Nor has ear heard, nor can we even imagine what God has in store for those who love him."  In other words heaven is indescribable.

In Scripture, we hear about the seven sons of Judas Maccabees.  They were brutally tortured and mutilated one after the other.  But they were willing to suffer such pain because they believed in a life after death-- for them, they believed with heart and soul, it would be a life of happiness.

Throughout the history of our Church, a countless number of men and women were willing to suffer torture and death because they knew that a life of tremendous happiness was waiting for them in heaven.

----No one wants to die because to live is a basic principle of life.  But many face death unafraid because they know the rewards will come in the next life.

----A few years ago when Bishop Ott discovered he had terminal cancer, although he loved his life and did not want to leave it, he was not afraid to die because he knew that there was a life waiting for him in the hereafter.

The Maccabees had no clearer notion of what heaven would be like than we do but their faith was so strong and they believed so strongly in life after death they were able to endure their sufferings and their torture.

Sacred Scripture says:  "The suffering of this present world cannot compare to the glory that awaits us in the next life."

What will heaven be like when we die?  No one really knows.  But when we pray the Creed, which concludes with these words:  "We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen."