Heaven on Earth
By Stacy LaMorte
Every time we are able to attend Mass, which is becoming more frequent now that we are slowly progressing out of quarantine, we are called to recognize that this is the closest we can be to heaven and to Christ while we are here on earth.
And, we are not alone as human beings in the building of the church – thousands of souls and angels are with us celebrating the Mass. They even have their own pews now during social distancing!
Seriously, though, I read a book in the adoration chapel about five years ago that changed my experience at Mass. It explained that during the consecration of the Eucharist, Christ elevates us to heaven to celebrate with him.
Pope John Paul II has put it beautifully: “The Eucharist is really a glimpse of heaven appearing on earth. It is a glorious ray of the heavenly Jerusalem which pierces the clouds of our history and lights up our journey” (Eccl. De Euch., 19).
Christ is truly present in the priest and the congregation of the church.
I have written before that when I am approaching the altar for holy Communion, I act as if I am at a “meet and greet” for Jesus Christ himself – because I am.
Would your mind be distracted if Jesus were standing at the altar, and you were about to receive Communion from him? Nope! You would be intently focused, counting the number of people who get to go before you have your turn.
Children who have just received their first holy Communion may still experience this (mainly because they are nervous about dropping the host or forgetting to say “Amen,” but we tend to lose this sense of wonder and privilege over time.
Do you have a special way of explaining this holy mystery to your kids? We would love for you to share it!