Heaven is our true home. Saint Paul tells us that “above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (Philippians 1:27). Indeed, we are citizens of heaven with a dignity and a holy responsibility to “stand firm in the Lord” (Philippians 4:1).
We are called to live on earth, while looking forward to heaven. In other words, we are supposed to be in the world but not of the world. This is a scripturally sound theological principle and those prepositions matter – “in” and “of.” They tell us about our relationship to the world and our place in it. We were born to live in this world, but it is not our ultimate destination. Yet this does not mean that we idly sit by and wait for death so that we can go to heaven. Rather it means we are to live on this earth by living for heaven.
We can do that by keeping guard of our attractions and affections. We are to be loving of the things of God and not of earth. We are to leave behind the sinful things of earth and attach ourselves to those things that lead us to love and to God. We can live for heaven now by committing ourselves to God and making holiness a priority. We need to stand up for truth and goodness. We can strive to live lives based on the Beatitudes and keeping the Golden Rule. We need to help one another, especially those on the margins. Being in the world and not of the world means that we will need to persevere through trials, especially when we go against the values of the world. Like Paul, we can consider that these sufferings are nothing compared to the glory of heaven (Romans 8:18).
“Walk with your feet on earth, but in your heart, be in heaven.”
– St. John Bosco