Are We Ascending?
By Greg Zambrano
There are so many amazing stories of the Bible that really inspire, while at same time instruct and catechize you. One bible passage that I really enjoy is Genesis 28:10-17 – Jacob’s dream of the stairway to heaven. It is a short story in the bible that kids could really enjoy.
By using your imagination, you can envision the details that Jacob describes about a stairway reaching to heaven. Seeing God’s angels going up and down the stairway. Jacob also speaks about God being next to him and speaking to him.
These moments are inspiring to the young and old in the family. Jacob tells us of this moment in his life because he lived it and experienced the outpouring of grace and manifestation of faith from God.
The connection of heaven and earth by a stairway is a reminder of our connection to heaven and God. It tells us that we MUST ascend to heaven. We may not side step into heaven and, most certainly, not descend into heaven. That would be absolutely unreasonable. God is with us, watching us, watching over us. We must accept this difficult lifelong job of ascending by maturing in our Catholic faith.
The Catholic Church is the stairway to heaven. There is the first step called church militant, second step called church suffering (optional) and third step church triumphant.
Parents should help young children be on the right path from birth with baptism (sacrament) and catechism.
Asking for God’s forgiveness often in the sacrament of penance and forgiving others, participating in Mass often and receiving the Eucharist help us. Performing works of mercy often also keep us on the right path.
In the Old Testament, Jacob is often seen as one the fathers of the faith – part of the three-generation journey to initiate the Israelites as a people that would, in time, bring us to Christ. Jacob was absolutely inspired by the revelation that God brought to him in a dream. It was a defining confirmation and inspiration to one day make it to top. As a father, he wants to send his inheritance of faith to us. The stairway is really there. Accept. Believe.