My Faith Why Heaven is Ultimate #Goals by Miguel Nuñez If you follow #goals on social media, the top posts are about relationships, fitness, and material possessions. Now, I know for a fact that my relationships won’t be perfect 24/7. I probably won’t have a body like Chris Hemsworth. And I most likely will never own a Lamborghini (though it would be dope!). But I do have other goals! Legit goals. I am not saying striving for healthy relationships, a healthy body, or having nice things are bad. However, it is important that the goals we set for ourselves are achievable and wise. Searching for purpose Goals reveal a purpose. When we purposefully do things, it’s usually because we had full intentions behind our actions. That we deliberately chose to do something. There comes a time in life when you no longer can get away with saying, “But I didn’t throw my toy car at my little sister in the face on purpose…” It’s part of growing up. So then what does it mean to find purpose in life? It means that every day, we awake with full motivation to be completely aware of every action, knowing that every decision intentionally leads to another. This looks a little bit different for everyone, but for a Catholic, it includes something more spiritually specific, something “not of this world.” This goal is heaven. The reality of heaven reminds us that there is more to life here on earth, that we have reason to hope for eternal joy. The fact that God created an eternal home with no chaos or hatred for us reveals that He has not forgotten us. It tells us that He longs to be with His creation, His children, forever. We all desire heaven, even if we don’t name it so. I know some people would rather not believe in “mystical things” mainly because of fear, self-doubt of unworthiness, or simply because they are too busy with “reality.” But the fact remains that we were made for heaven. Besides, who doesn’t want to experience rest, peace, hope, joy and the certainty of being loved? I can’t think of anyone. Wearing the Right Garments In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus presents for us the parable of the wedding feast. In it, a king says, “Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find” (Matthew 22:9). People of all kinds come to the celebration, but the king noticed a man who wasn’t dressed in a wedding garment. Because of this, the man was cast away into the darkness (Matthew 22:13). In our own lives, we sometimes fear God because we feel that he will cast us away for not being appropriately dressed for the occasion. But there’s Good News; it’s the purpose for the Incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While Jesus was on earth, He showed us how to be “spiritually dressed,” so to speak, for the grand feast. He came to “reconcile us with God, so we might know God’s love, to be our model of holiness, and partakers of the divine nature” (CCC 456-463). We just have to be willing to let Jesus fully prepare us for the eternal world. Recruiting Disciples Once we recognize that we have a desire for heaven and accept Jesus’ invitation to be conformed to the way of heaven, we also recognize the desire to share this same gift with others. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus asks two things of us when he says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” First, we must be willing to invite others to also be followers of Christ. One of my really good friends says it like this: “I am simply inviting people to get on the boat and tell them to start rowing.” We do this by living as witnesses of Christ. We share how the Lord has changed our life for the better, giving it purpose and hope, and leading us to eternity with Him. Secondly, we are called to lead others to the sacrament of Baptism. Now, this doesn’t mean sprinkling water on people anytime we get a chance. But it does mean that we get creative on how we pour out the Trinity into the life of others by our words and actions. The Trinity is a community of love, and so the way we love draws others either toward or away from the Love of God. (And if someone you know that isn’t baptized expresses an interest in becoming Catholic, you can always invite them to talk with your youth minister or someone at your parish!) Making it Real The #goal of heaven is made real today. Every morning, begin your day by turning to the Lord in prayer, saying: “Lord, help me and others around me to get closer to heaven today.” Find ways to share the way the goodness of the Lord with the people around you, whether it be your family, friends, or even some strangers you might encounter. When faced with a difficult situation, step back and find the most loving response that you can offer. Choose to make heaven a bit more of a reality on earth by creating spaces of rest, peace, joy, and unity in the ways that you are able. We must boldly live out our mission and purpose: to make heaven #goals for us and for those around us. Let’s get started.