Tag Archives: Heaven

“Rain”

Released in 1966 as the B-side to their single, “Paperback Writer,” the Beatles song, “Rain,” is considered by many to be among the group’s finest work.  This is also the track that Ringo Starr called his best recorded performance.  The drums are awesome, and so are the guitars, the bass, and the lyrics:
“Rain, rain, rain…  I don’t mind.
Shine, shine, shine…  The weather’s fine.”

The Laborers in the Vineyard

From the Gospel according to Saint Matthew:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.  After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.  When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’  So they went.  When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.  And about five o’ clock he went out and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’  They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’  He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’  When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’  When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.  Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received the usual daily wage.  And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’  But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong.  Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?  Take what belongs to you and go.  I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.  Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?  Or are you envious because I am generous?’  So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  (Matthew 20:1-16)

The Judgment of the Nations

From the Gospel according to Saint Matthew:

“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.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.  Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?  And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’  Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’  Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’  Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  (Matthew 25:31-46)

The Bread of Life

From the Gospel according to Saint John:

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.  Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.'”  (John 6:35-40)

Archangels

The term “archangel” is derived from the Greek word, “archángelos,” or “chief angel,” and is the title given to angels of the highest rank in God’s army.  Michael and Gabriel are the most recognized archangels, followed by Raphael and Uriel, whom the Bible also mentions by name.  Some branches of Christianity identify a group of seven archangels, although the names of the other three tend to vary depending on the source.  The Eastern Orthodox Church honors these seven archangels plus an eighth, Jeremiel.

Michael ~  The name in Hebrew means “Who is like God?” or “Who is equal to God?”  Michael is known as the commander of God’s army and the angel who cast Lucifer out of heaven.  In the Epistle of Saint Jude it says, “But when the Archangel Michael contended with the devil and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!'” (Jude 1:8)  Michael is often depicted wearing battle armor, holding a sword or a spear in one hand and a green palm branch in the other.

Gabriel ~  The name means “Man of God” or “Might of God,” and he is “the herald of God’s mysteries,” and especially of Jesus Christ’s incarnation.  In the Gospel According to Saint Luke it is Gabriel who announces the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary.  “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one!  The Lord is with you.’  But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.'” (Luke 1:26-32)

Raphael ~  Raphael means “God’s healing,” or “God the Healer.”  In the Book of Tobit he appears to Tobias and accompanies him on his journey.  “So Tobias went out to look for a man to go with him to Media, someone who was acquainted with the way.  He went out and found the angel Raphael standing in front of him, but he did not perceive that he was an angel of God.”  Later Archangel Raphael tells Tobias’s father, Tobit, who is blind, “Take courage, the time is near for God to heal you, take courage.” (Tobit 5:4,10)

Uriel ~  The name Uriel means “Fire of God” or “Light of God.”  He appears to the Prophet Ezra in the Book of Second Esdras, rebuking him for a lack of wisdom.  “Then the angel that had been sent to me, whose name was Uriel, answered and said to me, ‘Your understanding has utterly failed regarding this world, and do you think you can comprehend the way of the Most High?'” (II Esdras 4:1-4)  After Ezra responds wisely, Uriel says, “You have judged rightly, but why have you not judged so in your own case?  For as the land has been assigned to the forest and the sea to its waves, so also those who inhabit the earth can understand only what is on the earth, and he who is above the heavens can understand what is above the height of the heavens.” (II Esdras 4:20-21)  Archangel Uriel is often depicted with a sword in his right hand and fire in his left.

Selatiel ~  Selatiel means “Intercessor of God” or “Prayer of God.”  Some Christian traditions consider him to be the angel in the Book of Revelation who pours out the prayers of the people before God’s throne.  Selatiel is depicted in artwork with his head bowed and his hands folded in prayer.

Jegudiel ~  The name Jegudiel means “Glorifier of God,” and he is mentioned in the Book of Enoch.  In paintings and icons he is shown holding a crown, the reward for successful spiritual labors.

Barachiel ~  The name Barachiel means “Blessing of God.”  He appears in the Third Book of Enoch and is described as having charge over a large number of ministering angels.  In artwork he is often shown holding a white rose in his hand.

Jeremiel ~  The Hebrew name, Jerahmeel, translates to “God’s exaltation.”  He too appears in Second Esdras and speaks to the Prophet Ezra.  Archangel Jeremiel is referred to again in the Book of Enoch as well as in other apocryphal writings.  He is the eighth member of the group and is sometimes called an archangel.

*  It should be noted that the Books of Esdras and the Book of Tobit are Apocryphal Books, and along with the Book of Enoch are not included in many Bibles.  Thanks for reading, and thanks to Wikipedia.