Tuesday in the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Rom 8:18-25;  Lk 13:18-21             

Can animals go to heaven?  According to St. Thomas Aquinas, animals do not have immortal souls.  They cannot go to heaven. 

But Pope Francis writes in his encyclical, Laudate Si, “Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place” (# 243).   

These two positions are not incompatible.  Animals do not have immortal souls, but God can give them gifts that are above their nature.  Just as God gives us the grace of sharing in his divine nature, so also, God can give animals the gift of immortality. 

St. Paul writes that “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God”  (Rom 8:21).  So, can animals go to heaven?  No, not as sharers in God’s divine nature, but yes, as sharers in our immortality forever and ever!




Tuesday in the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Eph 5:21-33; Lk 13:18-21

It’s a law of life for things to begin small and grow to maturity in a slow, almost hidden way. We have a saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  

Today, nearly two thousand years after the Resurrection of Jesus, less than one-third of the world’s population is Christian.  The seed has not fully matured, the flour is still far from being completely leavened.  Evangelization has a long way to go.

The parables of the seed and the leaven also teach us about our personal growth in becoming fully Christian.  Let’s not be discouraged as we groan within ourselves at how long it takes.  As one of our monks, Br. Terrence, used to say, “Keep on keeping on.”