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Question 410

Pater can you tell me that in the afterlife when will we meet our love ones again? Do we have to wait till the end of life on earth when we are all judged by God? 

 

 

Answer to Question 410

 

 A common question people ask concerning death is “When we die will we be with our loved ones?” We do not know enough about life after death to give definite answers. Death is a mystery and what we know of the afterlife is only what Christ has told us in Holy Scripture and certain accounts given us by the saints who had visions or after death experiences. Certainly we want to believe that we will continue our afterlife with the people we love and in some ways this is possible, but this depends on how spiritually cleansed we are.

 

We will certainly be able to see our loved ones but for us to be with them it means that our spiritual eyes see the divine light at the same level as them. To understand this better we need to see the example of the eyesight theory with the parable of “Lazarus and the rich man”. When both died the beggar Lazarus was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man went to a place of torment. In other words Lazarus’s spiritual eyes were healthy and this allowed him to participate in the divine light. The rich man on the other hand lived a wicked life and his spiritual eyes were so darkened that he couldn’t participate in that light. He could see Abraham and Lazarus and recognized him as the beggar who was at his door every day, but that was all. He couldn’t go over to where Lazarus was and Lazarus also couldn’t cross over to where the rich man was.

 

The parable therefore tells us that when we die we will recognize and see others we knew in this life, but the spiritual state of each of us determines where we will be. But let us for arguments sake assume that our loved ones and ourselves are all saved and see the divine light, can we also assume that we will be together? We will be together as far as we will all be in God, but Christ told us something about heaven which we must take into account; he said that “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” (John 14:2) This we can interpret as meaning many levels of salvation. We can therefore imagine heaven as a pyramid with God at the very top followed by the saints and all those who found deification and as we come down the pyramid there are different levels with people. Each person is assigned to a level according to his spiritual ability to see God. The better eyesight one has the closer to God he is. Thus my parents might be near the top of the pyramid and I might be near the bottom. We all participate in God, but our spiritual health determines how close to God we stand.