Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son…” Matthew 22:1-14
Heaven, the scriptures assure us, will be enjoyed within the communal embrace of billions of persons of every temperament, race, background, and ideology imaginable. A universal heart will be required to live there. Thus, in this life, it is good to get some practice at this, good to be constantly in situations that painfully stretch the heart. Few things - and we certainly all admit this - stretch the heart as painfully as does church community. Conversely, when we avoid the pain and mess of ecclesial encounter to walk a less painful private road or to gather with only persons of our own kind, the heart need not and generally does not stretch. Going to church is one of the better cardiovascular spiritual exercises available.
Ronald Rolheiser ‘The Holy Longing’