In the midst of all of this suffering and confusion, it’s so crucial that we remind ourselves that we were not made for this world. What does that mean? We hear Jesus say in the Gospel “My kingdom is not of this world.” Any logical Christian knows, of course, we are talking about heaven, but what is it about this world that makes us so uncomfortable. It’s unfamiliar.
I attended a lecture by a priest about a year ago, and he posed the question: Why don’t fish complain about being wet?
His answer: They are doing what they were created for and they are content with that. Fish are supposed to live in water. It’s where their natural habitat is, so they have no reason to complain. Humans are not satisfied because this is not our home. We cannot be satisfied because we feel so much discontentment.
Individuals who have faith and know God are still so uncomfortable because they aren’t united to him like they ought to be in heaven. Everyone, regardless of their faith, feels this huge hole within them that can never be satisfied. So instead, we stuff our feelings with tangible belongings. We want large houses, extravagant cars, the fastest technology. When that doesn’t satisfy, we turn to other things whether it be other people and lifestyles that could be self-destructive. Yet even that leaves us unsatisfied and broken.
The thing is that we can’t be satisfied here in this world. The things we desire and the things that bring us true happiness and joy aren’t in the things that we can buy.
But those who know God can taste that satisfaction. Something clicks within them and suddenly that hole goes away. They feel one step closer to heaven.
Personally, I feel joy when I see reflections of heaven on earth. I see it when someone reflects the actions of Christ. When someone gives a part of themselves for the sake of another.
It can be in the simple act of a mother wiping the nose of a child suffering from allergies; a nurse carefully making a bed for a patient; a professor talks to a student struggling to understand a concept from class.
My challenge is to be reflections of heaven on earth. Give yourself and help us find that joy on earth until we can gain that true satisfaction we seek in heaven.