St. Cyprian describes Heaven as a great family reunion, where we hope to see many of our loved ones.
At times Heaven can appear to be something abstract, a place in the clouds where God dwells. In reality Heaven is much different, full of people, many of whom held a special place in our hearts on earth.
St. Cyprian, a bishop in the 3rd century, wrote about one of the reasons we should long for Heaven.
There a large number of dear ones are waiting for us, of parents, brothers, children; a numerous and full crowd are longing for us; already secure of their own immortality, and still anxious for our safety. To come to the sight and the embrace of these, how great will be the mutual joy to them and to us! What a pleasure of the kingdom of heaven is there without the fear of dying, and with an eternity of living! How consummate and never-ending a happiness!
There is the glorious company of the apostles; there is the assembly of exulting prophets; there is the unnumbered family of martyrs crowned for the victory of their struggles and suffering; there are virgins triumphing, who, by the power of chastity, have subdued the lusts of the flesh and the body; there are the merciful recompensed, who with food and bounty to the poor have done the works of righteousness, who keeping the Lord’s commands have transferred their earthly inheritance into heavenly treasures.
To these, O most dearly beloved brethren, let us hasten with most eager longing; let us desire that our lot may be to be with these speedily; to come speedily to Christ.
Think about that scene for a minute. What joy would you experience to hug a spouse or child again? What if you saw your best friend, or your parents? Would you run at full speed to embrace them?
Let those thoughts stir up within you a great longing for Heaven, one that informs your daily activities. If we want to see that scene one day, should we not do all that we can during our short life to make it a reality?
May we go forward each day with this in mind, living the Gospel in every aspect so that we can one day hug our loved ones tightly, for all eternity.