The Body, and a Vision of Heaven and Hell

January 22, 2022

"we are a people incorporated into the Body of Christ."


There was once a worldly man, concerned chiefly with his own success and achievements, who questioned the nature of Heaven and Hell. One night he had a vision. In the vision an angel appeared to him and told him, “I have come to show you Hell.”

In an instant the man and the angel stood in a large cavern. In the middle of the cavern was a large pot full of stew. It's aroma filled the cavern. “It smells delicious,” said the man. Around the stewpot sat a ring of people with long handled spoons. With the spoons they could reach the stew but the handles were longer than their arms and so they could not bring the spoons back to their mouths to eat. The people sitting around the pot were suffering greatly, hungry, emaciated, and miserable.

“Now I will show you Heaven,” said the angel.

In the flicker of a thought the scene changed subtly. They were still in a cavern with a pot of delicious smelling stew. The pot was still surrounded by people with long handled spoons. But the difference was that here, the people looked well fed, happy, and were talking cheerfully with one another.

“I don’t understand,” said the man, “in the other place the people were starving and miserable, here they are happy and content. What has made the difference?”

“Here,” said the angel, “they have learned to feed each other.”

One Body

Our “today” is different from the “today” of ancient Israel. While they were a people who wept and rejoiced in the hearing of the law, we are a people incorporated into the Body of Christ. The first century Judeans were individual members of a community, but we are interrelated members of the same Body of Christ. We are all dependent upon each other. Saint Paul explains what this means when he tells us “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body.” 1 Cor 12:12

American society tends to celebrate the individual, to prize the pioneering spirit. But as Christians we are asked to see things differently than the rest of the world. There are no individuals there is only the one undivided Body. Those qualities that separate us, our different-ness, is not for us as individuals, but is intended for the good of the entire Body.

All of our gifts, talents, and abilities are not given to us for our own use. They are pieces of a whole, and all are necessary for the Body to function properly.

As we live in the ever present “today” of Christ, we live for Him, and for each other. Each of us has been given a specific task, a task that is necessary and irreplaceable for the well being of the entire community. When we accept this task, when the foot stops trying to be an eye and sees the value in being a foot, then we truly begin to live outside of ourselves, in love for all and for the One.

Pax Vobiscum
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

"The Visitation" © Lawrence Klimecki


© Lawrence Klimecki

Purchase fine art prints by Deacon Lawrence here.

Deacon Lawrence draws on ancient Christian tradition to create new contemporary art that seeks to connect the physical and the spiritual.. For more information on original art, prints and commissions, Please visit 

Lawrence Klimecki, MSA, is a deacon in the Diocese of Sacramento. He is a public speaker, writer, and artist, reflecting on the intersection of art and faith


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