(Part 57)


November 1, 2014

Today’s readings:

Revelation 7:2-14

Psalm 24:1-6

1 John 3:1-3

Matthew 5:1-12

We need to be holy in order to enter heaven. “Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? Who can stand in his holy place? ‘The clean of hand and pure of heart’” (Ps 24:3-4a). To enter heaven and to see God and live with Him eternally is our goal, as we go through this earthly life. To achieve that goal, we need to strive for purity of life, to be holy as God is holy. “Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.” (1 Jn 3:3).

But because we live in a work in darkness and antagonistic to those who strive to truly live out their faith, we can expect to be oppressed, even persecuted. But this turns out to be a blessing, as it purifies us and helps in moving us along the path of holiness, preparing us for heaven. “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt 5:10-12a).

Thus as we strive for holiness in this life, we are helping assure that we will enjoy heaven in the next life. Heaven is the fulfillment of all our desires. “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” (Mt 5:6). And with such purity of heart, we enter heaven and see God face to face. “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt 5:8).

Our call is to be saints and martyrs. In heaven, we will be recognized as “the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:14b). If we persevere through trials and afflictions, if we take on the white mantle of purity, if we embrace the cross of Christ, then we will make it to heaven.

But making it to heaven cannot just be for us. Jesus died for all, to bring salvation to all. In heaven at the end of time, there should be “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.” (Rev 7:9a). Thus we not only grow in holiness, we not only endure persecution as we witness to Jesus, but we need to go on mission as God’s warriors. We need to help find and bring back the lost sheep. We need to bring our ministry of renewal to every nation, to every race, to all peoples, to those who speak in different languages. This is our mission of massive worldwide evangelization.

Then as saints, martyrs and warriors, we can all be in God’s presence, giving Him the worship that is His due. “They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.’” (Rev 7:9b-10).

Amen. Onward to the New Evangelization!

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