Reach the heights of heaven

By Greg Zambrano

One late morning I was in church praying my rosary. That day, I was praying the Glorious mysteries– kneeling and facing the tabernacle with a very elaborate St. Joseph statue to my right. 

I prayed the mysteries one by one: first the Resurrection of Our Lord, second the Ascension of Our Lord, third the Descent of the Holy Spirit, fourth the Assumption of Our Lady and fifth the Coronation of Our Lady. On the fourth mystery as I peered at St. Joseph, I started thinking that if he died first before the Assumption, he must have seen Mary rise to heaven. He must have also seen the Ascension. Mark 14:62, “You will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power.” 

St. Joseph was fully accepting of God’s divine providence, and, at one point, must have been thinking what Mary thought when the angel Gabriel appeared to her – how could this be? (Luke 1:26). 

Through the holy rosary, I allow myself to contemplate how each mystery connects to sacred Scripture. 

That day in church, I allowed St Joseph – through reasoning, contemplation and devotion – show me a glimpse of his joy in receiving his “Holy Family” in the kingdom of heaven. 

“Faith and Reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of Truth” wrote St. Pope John Paul II’ in his encyclical “Fides et Ratio” ( 

How the reconnection took place we do not know. But, with truth, reasoning and faith, we know that even though St Joseph had very difficult moments on earth, he took his place in heaven and is with extreme joy; so much joy that I would say that he wants to pass it on to us here on earth, to parents and families. 

When I go to air shows, I think back at my Air Force career. I remember how the F-15 that I helped maintain, service and launch would fly most of the runway’s length just a few feet above ground but, at the end of the runway, completely pivot into the sky at an apparent 90-degree angle and rocket into an elevation where it was barely visible. Witnessing the power of jet engines instantly launching heavy combat aircraft into high altitudes was never felt boring. I was always impressed. 

We may not be like the select few that transport instantly into high elevations or the moon on Artemis, but through prayer we can all reach the highest heavens and receive our joy. 


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