•                                           Israel set out from Egypt. Their minds were filled with the memory of God's wonderful deeds that brought them liberation from slavery in Egypt. They ate the Passover Meal in haste and started off to the Promised Land of Canon. In the midst ofthe sea, the Lord prepared a way for them and they walked on the sea as on dry land.God was with them all through, during the day take a pillar of cloud and during the night like a pillar of fire. God looked after them during their journey providing them manna andlocusts to eat, and water to drink. Under the able leadership of Moses and Joshua they journeyed like a pilgrim people to the promised land of Canon.

    The Land of Canaan is a Symbol of the Kingdom of God


                                          God had promised that He would give a land flowing with milk and honey to the descendants of Abraham (Gen. 12:7). It is to this land of Promise that Moses was leading God's people They reached this land of promise at the end of a very painfulJourney. They journeyed through the desert bearing the heat of the day and the biting cold of the night for forty long years. They had to face the attacks of the enemies, hunger,starvation, sickness and death during this long journey. Yet they continued their journey putting all these trust on God. The land of Canaan or the promised land is a symbol ofthe kingdom of God

    The Pilgrim Nature of the Church


                                        Christian life is a pilgrimage; it is a journey from the slavery of sin leading to the heavenly Canaan, a land of promise. A pilgrimage is a journey towards a holy place or a place of religious significance  It is usually a journey undertaken with many difficulties.But, by the end of the pilgrimage when we reach the holy place, it will be a wonderful experience of joy and delight. In the same way our pilgrimage to heaven involves many difficulties and trials but at the end, when we reach heaven we enjoy eternally the bliss ofthe Paradise. Heaven is the real and perfect experience of salvation towards which theentire humanity moves with eager longing. This salvation is made possible throughJesus and in Jesus. Jesus revealed to us that there are many rooms in His Father's house and that he would take us there. (John: 14:2-6) Hence, Christians are a people who move forward with eager longing for heaven and the bliss of Paradise. It is this hope of eternal life, which gives meaning to Christian Life.

    Christian Life is a Foretaste of Heaven


                                 Christian Life means our union with Jesus Christ. It is a state in which we are inChrist and He is in us. A complete and final realization of this union with Christ is heaven  We will see God face to face in heaven and we will live in union with Him eternally enjoying beatific vision. As Pascal the apostle says, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly,but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as Ihave been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12).


                                Life in heaven as something spiritual, having nothing to do with flesh and blood or other material realities. There will be no desires of the flesh in heaven, as life in heaven is spiritual. While here on earth, in real Christian life, we can have a fore taste ofheaven, provided we live according to the promptings of the Spirit. Peace and happiness are the fruits of the Spirit which the presence of the Holy Spirit ensures in ourlives. Enjoying peace and happiness here on earth through the presence of the HolySpirit, is an experience of heavenly life – only in small measures here, but this is full measure.

    Death: The Gateway to Eternity


                             It is God's will that man must die and after death subject himself / herself to God's judgment. The Old Testament presents death as the natural end of man (Job 5:26).Death is also depicted in the Old Testament as the power that takes away life. It is the time when the soul returns to God, its source (Ecl. 12:7).


                            The Old Testament presents death as the natural end of man (Job 5:26).Death is also depicted in the Old Testament as the power that takes away life. It is the time when the soul returns to God, its source (Ecl. 12:7).What we are concerned about here is not physical life, but spiritual life. In St. Paul's view,death is a gain as it is a passage from the mortal nature of man to the immortal, eternalglory. It is a Passover from what is corruptible to what is in corruptible, from what is earthly to what is heavenly.

    Individual Judgment and Final Judgment


                              The Church is clear in her teaching about life after death. It contains her views on individual judgment and final judgment The separation of the soul from the body is death. The body gets decayed in the soil but the soul, at the very moment of death,appears before God, to be judged individually, according to each one's life and conduct. We call this the individual judgment. 


                             The final judgment is the one in which the just and the unjust are going to be separated finally and eternally St. Mathew the Evangelist gives us a complete and vivid depiction of the final judgment. “Before Him will be gathered all the nations and he will separates them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats… Then the king will say to those at his right hand, come, a blessed of my father, inherits the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world… Then He will say to those at His life hand, depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…(Mt. 25:31-46).


    The Final Judgment is the Act by which God Glorifies the

     Just and Punishes the Unjust


    Conversion is impossible after death. If anyone speaks about preaching the Good News to those who are dead, it is a wrong and superstitious teaching. It is wrong to believe that the souls of the dead wander about restlessly or enter into the body of the
    living hurting them and persecuting them. With death every individual passes into a state of salvation (heaven) or punishment (hell) or purification (purgatory).

    The Final Judgment and Glorification


                                           It is the fundamental faith of every Christian that Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of God the Father ,will come to judge the living and the dead.
                             The Holy Scriptures teaches us about the glorious second coming of Jesus and the sole subsequent final judgment. Questioned by the high priest, Jesus told him, “For now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mt. 26:64). On the question of the rising of the dead, St. Paul tells us: “For the
    Lord Himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thes. 4:16). In the Gospel of Mathew, we read again: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of his glory.” (Mt. 25:31).


    The Church teaches that those who deliberately continue to live in mortal sin and opt against God even at the last moment of their earthly life will be rejected. Those who die in the state of serious sin will be subjected to eternal punishment. The word 'hell'
    means eternal punishment.Living away from God is hell. Heaven and hell are eternal.There are many references about hell in the scriptures. Jesus tells us not to fear those who can kill the body but can not kill the soul. He warns us to fear him who can destroy
    both soul and body in hell (Mt. 3:12; 5:22, 29; 10:28).



           Those who get converted to God at the last moment, but do not attain to the completion of divine love at the time of their death, are given an opportunity to purify themselves and achieve perfection. This is what we call purgatory.In Syrian language it is called “Bess Purkana', meaning 'a house of salvation.'The souls in purgatory are in the hope of experiencing the complete salvation and the fullness of divine love. This is a time of purification for them before they are admitted to a face to face vision of God. It is not to be regarded as a place, rather a state in which the souls are on their way towards
    the beatific vision. When they complete their purification they will be in heaven along with the just.The faithful who are on earth can assist the souls in purgatory, through their prayers, particularly the Eucharist, alms giving and sacrifices.
            The Holy Scripture gives us some indications about the purgatory. In the Book of Maccabees we read that nothing unholy will enter the presence of God. It also exhorts us to pray for the dead (2 Macc. 12:44-45).Mar Aprem, the Syrian Church Father says,
    “My brothers, observe my memory thirty days after my death, for the dead are helped through the sacrifices offered by the living.”




                Heaven is the final goal of every believer. It is the hope of heaven that gives meaning to human sorrows and sufferings.Heaven is life with God in the house of God. Jesus opened for us the doors of heaven and He will take us to heaven.There are many indications about heaven in the New Testament. “No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of man” (Jn. 3:13). “We have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…” (Heb. 8:1). Jesus is the way that leads us to the inheritance of His heavenly reward, prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Jesus said, “…no one comes to the Father, except through me.” (Jn. 14:6). Anyone who lives in love can get a foretaste of heaven while here on earth.We can reach heaven by doing good works moved by faith and love.

                As members of the pilgrim Church, let us continue our pilgrimage and reach our destination, heaven, by doing good to others moved by love.


    Word of God to Read and



    Lk. 16:19-31.

    Word of God to Remember


    If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come
    again and will take you to myself, so that where
    I am, there you may be also (Jn. 14:3).

    Let us Pray


    May the souls of the faithful departed, through the
    mercy of God, rest in peace. Eternal Father, for the
    sake of the precious blood of your Son Jesus have
    mercy on the departed souls.

    My Resolution


    I will pray for the departed
    souls every day.

    To Think with the Church


    Sitting at the right hand of the Father he is continually active in the world in order
    to lead men to the Church and, through it, join them more closely to himself; and,
    by nourishing them with his own Body and Blood, make them partakers of his
    glorious life. The promise and hope for restoration, therefore, has already begun in
    Christ. It is carried forward in the sending of the Holy Spirit and through him
    continues in the Church in which, through our faith, we learn the meaning of our
    earthly life, while we bring to term, with hope of future good, the task allotted to us
    in the world by the Father, and so work out our salvation.
    (Vat. II, The Church, No. 48)


    To Know the Mother Church


    The Bishops who administered the Archdiocese of Angamaly wanted to put into
    practice the canons of the Synod of Diamper (Udayamperur). This paved the
    way towards division in the Church. In the mean time Bishop Ahathullah from
    Syria sent a letter to the Archdeacon through some pilgrims. The letter contained
    the message that he was being sent by the Pope with the power of shepherding
    the Malabar Church and that the Archdeacon should make arrangements for him
    to take over the administration of the Church. The Jesuits who were against this
    movement put him in the ship for Portugal. Hearing this, the Archdeacon and
    thousands of faithful rushed to the Cochin Port. They were not permitted to see
    the Bishop. Moreover they sailed the Bishop off without touching the Cochin
    Port. Greatly disappointed at the conduct of the Jesuits, the Archdeacon and his
    followers rushed to the church at Mattancherry and tied a tug to the cross in front
    of the church and holding the tug took an oath that they would not any longer
    remain under the Jesuit administration. This is the well known “ Koonan Cross
    Oath' (Koonan Kurisu Sathayam). This took place on the 3rd January 1653.