Holding Hands Forever: A Children’s Homily by Deacon Jim Hyatt

Hey kids, have you ever been to Disney World? Or have you ever been to Six Flags, or Storyland, or Santa’s Village? How was it? Pretty awesome I bet. Raise your hands if you went on any rides when you were there! Did they have good snacks? Ice cream maybe? Deacon Jim likes ice cream!

Last week, I was lucky to be in Disney World with two of my kids. When I was there, I saw so many kids with their parents and those kids were so happy! They were laughing and holding hands with their parents while walking to rides and shows or going to the pools and water parks. They were very happy to be with their parents and the parents were having fun too. There was no place those kids and parents would rather be – fun, thrills, seeing princesses, going on rides… those kids did not want it to end. “Can we stay forever? Please!”

Well, no one can afford to stay there forever… right parents?

We can’t stay anywhere forever… or… can we? This got me thinking about the readings today and about heaven – where we can stay forever.

In the Gospel, Jesus says to “follow me.” Three different people in the story said, “I will follow you…but let me go do some other stuff first and then I will eventually follow you.” 

Some said, “I’m not ready yet, I like what I am doing.” Jesus was sad and said, “You need to follow me now.” But why? Why does he want us to follow him now? Because he wants you, your parents, and your whole family with him in heaven forever!  

So, how do we follow him? What does following him look like?

Well first, I would say that following Jesus is being patient and not getting mad. I would also say that following Jesus means listening to your parents and loving and giving to your neighbor. That’s what following Jesus looks like and that is what Jesus wants us to do. 

So, what does not following Jesus look like??

Not following Jesus is when people are mean, selfish and care only about themselves. That makes Jesus sad… and I don’t ever want him to be sad, I want him to be happy with me all the time!

So, let’s think about a place that is way better than Disney, Six Flags, Storyland and Santa’s Village combined! I know, that place would be great! That is what heaven is, the best place ever and we can stay there forever! Imagine being there and….

Walking and holding your parents’ hands… forever.

Holding your grandparents’ hands… forever.

Holding Jesus’ hand… forever.

He told us how to get there… he wants all of us with all of our families to be there with him… forever.

But it is up to us to choose to follow him… today. 

Not when we get around to it… 

Not someday… today!

Make the choice.

Get to heaven.

Hold hands forever…

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