At the Last Supper, Jesus said this to his friends: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.”
I’ve often reflected on these words, and it seems that every time I do, the Lord grants me the chance to go just a little bit deeper into what they mean. It’s clear that one way he comes to us is through the Holy Spirit, the Advocate that he promised he would give us to be with us always. But I’ve also come to appreciate more and more how he comes to us in the Eucharist.
There’s something very special that happens when I pray before the Eucharist in adoration. My prayer is much more robust, more meaningful, more real. This is because I pray in the presence of the Son of God. The very one who I worship is there before me. It’s humbling and inspiring at the same time. It heightens my awareness of what I’m praying because I’m looking at my Lord as I pray.
There’s a connection between heaven and earth. It’s not a connection that I can see or feel, but it’s very real. God is in both places; he is the connection. He manifests that connection in the Eucharist, and I’m blessed to experience it every time I receive the Eucharist or pray in adoration. For me, the Eucharist is something like a gateway or a passage that allows me to in some abstract way experience heaven. I suppose that this is because in heaven we’ll experience the beatific vision, and the Eucharist is a glimpse into that reality.
I was recently serving as deacon at a funeral Mass for a friend. After the consecration, I was behind the altar, looking out at the consecrated bread and wine and the casket all at once. And the connection between heaven and earth became very real to me. There was my friend’s body, once alive but now dead. And there was the bread and wine, once dead but now alive. God lives in the connection between heaven and earth, and the Eucharist is the gateway.
When my life is ended, I’ll follow that connection all the way up to heaven, God willing. In the meantime, I’ll continue to marvel at the Eucharist and its power to show me the gateway to heaven.
Experience it for Yourself
Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.