Did John the Baptist go to heaven right after death?
By Paul Dion, STL
Read these words of Jesus which you will hear in this Gospel story about John the Baptist: "History has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he" (Matthew 11:11).
We're talking about Jesus' first cousin here. This is the precurser of the Messiah. His father was a priest. He was still in the womb of his mother when he leapt for joy when Elizabeth and Mary met when Mary was in the early stages of her pregnancy with Jesus. John dedicated his entire life to the mission of spreading the word and the love of God. John was a straight talking prophet calling for the repentance of the Chosen People. John himself washed Jesus in the waters of baptism from the Jordan.
How then can Jesus say, "Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he."? So, when John died, the greatest of all prophets, he didn't go to the kingdom of God on the Archangel Express?
That's right. Although John had seen the Anointed One and heard of his wonderful works, he, like Moses, did not enter into the Kingdom during his lifetime. Why not? Let it all hang out. You know that you have an answer and you also know that you have questions. Fire away. Let us know.
Of course if you don't want to do that, check out the article "Rejoice in Hope - John the Baptist: "Gaudete Sunday" and you will find the answer.
If you still need to get something off your chest, we await your sentiments with open arms and a sharpened pencil. Post your comments below.
God bless you all.