Recently there was some construction being done at my parish. I was at a weekday mass in the small chapel in the back of the church when I looked up and saw a scaffold erected at the front of the church. I laughed within me. How ironic I thought. A scaffold within a scaffold. You see a scaffold helps us to climb to heights that we cannot reach on our own strength. The church is also a scaffold in that it helps us on our journey towards heaven. I spent the rest of Mass contemplating how all the different facets of our Church help us to climb up to heaven. Genesis 28:12, in a dream Jacob sees a ladder that went from earth to heaven. Angels went up and down on this ladder. What is a scaffold but a sturdy ladder?
At every Mass heaven comes down to earth in that we have the communion of saints join with us in prayer and receive God Himself in the Eucharist. Jesus spoke about a pearl of great worth that is buried in a field. When you find it, you give up all you must acquire it. Matthew 13:46 “When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Hidden within the walls of our church is the one great pearl, and because our God loves variety there are many ways to find it. From Mass, bible studies, devotionals, to each of our sacraments and more all these are part of the scaffold that helps us to reach the heavenly heights.
This is the picture I took of the scaffold. When I got home, I looked at it again and thought of how clever God is. If you look closely, you will see that at the base of the scaffold are the saints. (coincidence? I think not!) The Saints are people just like you and me who have gone before us and lived holy lives. Their lives reflected a resurrected Christ and gave us examples and hope for us to be able to attain this for ourselves as well. Let us look to the saints as teachers who can show us the way, and from heaven guide us to Jesus. When I read about the lives of the saints, I am always led closer to Jesus, for that is their goal, to be part of the heavenly scaffold of the church.
The curious thing about the scaffold is that unless you climb it you cannot go up. When you stand at the base of it and look up it can feel a bit daunting. If you are wanting to grow closer to Christ, place your foot on the first rung, and then start the climb. I promise it will be worth it. The view alone is a wonder. Look out and see the people of God, all climbing at different levels, see the saints as they guide and cheer them on the way, see the angels that also guide and protect us. If you haven’t been to church in a while, let me invite you back. If you have, then I invite you to climb higher, pray and ask Jesus where He wants to you go next, there is more! Seek and u will find is the promise of Jesus.
I pray that as we look forward to the new year you will take this opportunity to reevaluate where you are and where God is calling you to climb.