City of Heaven
Heaven is described in the Bible as a Place, as a City:
"the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, the New
Jerusalem" (Heb.12:22, Rev.21:1-2, 10, Is.66:1-22).
Here is the bible’s description:
1- It is a gigantic, enormous city:
"I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God... The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold
to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out
like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the
rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high
as it is long." (Rev.21:2, 15-17)
12,000 stadia are about 1,400 miles, 2,2000 kilometers... The length
of the whole world known at that time!... and the same length in high!...
and it is not plane, but tri-dimensional... going up another 1,400
2- The Walls:
"He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement,
which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper, and the city
of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls
were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation
was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth
emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite,
the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh
jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst" (Rev.21:17-20)
3- Twelve Gates:
"It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve
angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve
tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the
north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city
had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles
of the Lamb... The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made
of a single pearl" (Rev.21:12-14, 21)
The 12 gates are the symbol of the 12 tribes of Israel, and the 12
apostles... it is a universal City, with people coming from the north,
south, east and west...
4- The City itself is gorgeous:
"And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and
high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like
that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal...
The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass"
5- The Lamb is its light... the splendor... the judge:
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the
glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations
will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their
splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there
will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be
brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone
who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names
are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev.21:23-27)
6- It is eternal:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear
as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the
middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river
stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its
fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing
of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God
and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There
will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the
light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they
will reign for ever and ever." (Rev.22:1-5).
The Tree of Life, beside the River of Water of Life, first pictured
in Eden (Gen.2:9-10)... Paradise restored!... Fullness of life flows
from the the Father through the son, the Lamb, by the power of the
spirit... later in Ezequiel 47:1-12, appears in his vision of Healing
Waters... every desire is met in the kind of fruit available
7- This is how John saw Heaven through
an open door: In Rev.4:
1. After this I looked, and there before me was a
door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking
to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you
what must take place after this."
2. At once I was in the Spirit, and there before
me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
3. And the one who sat there had the appearance of
jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled
4. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones,
and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white
and had crowns of gold on their heads.
5. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and
peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These
are the seven spirits of God.
6. Also before the throne there was what looked like
a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne,
were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front
and in back
7. The first living creature was like a lion, the
second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth
was like a flying eagle.
8. Each of the four living creatures had six wings
and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and
night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God
Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."
9. Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks
to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,
10. the twenty-four elders fall down before him who
sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They
lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11. "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive
glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your
will they were created and have their being."
OF THE SAINTS
ST. EDMUND CAMPION
St. Edmund lived in the sixteenth century. He was a very popular young English student who was a great speaker.
St. Bibiana's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome in early Christian times.
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary, was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506.
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE
St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family
St. Sabas, born in 439, is one of the most famous monks of Palestine.
St. Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving.
St. Ambrose was born around 340. He was the son of the Roman governor of Gaul.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY
Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously.
BLESSED JUAN DIEGO
St. Juan Diego is well-known because the Mother of God appeared to him.
ST. JOHN ROBERTS
St. John was born in Wales in 1577. Although he was not a Catholic, he was taught by an elderly priest.
ST. DAMASUS I
ST. Damasus was born in Rome and lived in the fourth century-exciting times for the Church.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
We celebrate the event of Mary's appearances on Tepyac Hill in Mexico.
St. Lucy, the beloved saint, lived in Syracuse, Sicily. She was born toward the end of the third century.
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
St. John was born in Spain in 1542. He was the son of a weaver.
St. Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century.
St. Adelaide was born in 931. At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair.
St. Olympias was born around the year 361. She belonged to a great family of Constantinople.
St. Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks.
BLESSED URBAN V
Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard.
ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS
St. Dominic, a Spanish shepherd boy, was born at the beginning of the eleventh century.
ST. PETER CANISIUS
ST. Peter, a Dutch man, was born in 1521. His father wanted him to be a lawyer.
ST. CHAEREMON AND ST. ISCHYRION AND OTHER MARTYRS
The third century was marked by Roman persecutions of the Church.
ST. JOHN OF KANTY
St. John, the Polish saint, was born in 1390, the son of good country folk.
ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE
St. Marguerite was born in Quebec, Canada, on October 15, 1701.
St. Charbel was born Youssef Makhlouf on May 8, 1828, in a mountain village in Lebanon.
CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTHDAY OF JESUS
The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us.
St. Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.
ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE
St. John was a fisherman in Galilee. He was called to be an apostle.
THE HOLY INNOCENTS
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men came from the east to worship him.
ST. THOMAS BECKET
St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118, in London, England.
St. Anysia lived in Thessalonica toward the end of the second century.
St. Sylvester dates back to early Christian times, to the reign of Constantine.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?