The Mass Is Heaven On Earth

    I'm sharing two stories that tell of the importance of the Celebration of the Eucharist (Mass) and Eucharistic Adoration. The first story about a missionary illustrates how the Eucharist is one of the greatest proofs of God's trustworthiness story about a missionary illustrates how the Eucharist is one of the greatest proofs of God's trustworthiness — that Christ is faithfully present through the ups and downs of twenty centuries. The second story reminds us that we go to heaven every time we go to Mass.

#1 - A Glance at the Eucharist
    Fr. Meehus was working in a small village in China during the Sino-Japanese war. As Japanese soldiers neared the village, the priest led his congregation of orphans into hiding in the nearby hills.  Safe in a cave, he counted eighty children - everyone was there. Then one of the boys spoke up, "Father, someone is missing." They counted again - still 80. But the boy insisted. The priest asked, "Who is it, who's missing?" The boy answered, "We left Jesus in the Tabernacle." Father moaned - in his rushed escape, he had forgotten to bring the Blessed Sacrament. He made a quick decision.

    Having fun, the children smeared Father with mud, so he would be a commando. He went out, slipped through enemy lines, crept to the Church, and tip-toed up to the Tabernacle. He prayed in the silence of his heart: "Jesus, I'm sorry I have to come for You this way; You might not recognize me with all this mud... I am in disguise now, but this is really and truly the one who has held You in my hands many mornings at Mass." And in his heart, the priest heard God answering him: "Of course I recognize you..."

    Fr. Meehus took the Blessed Sacrament to his congregation. When the soldiers left, the priest and his congregation carried Jesus in a triumphant procession back to the Tabernacle. When trusting God is hard, a glance at the Eucharist, the sign of God's faithfulness, can make all the difference.

#2 - To Go to Mass is to Go to Heaven
    Scott Hahn was a Protestant minister who had studied the Book of Revelation for twenty years. He admits that, in trying to study Revelation, he felt like a person standing before a locked door, searching for the right key on a keychain. There was no key that fit, until he linked the Book of Revelation to the Mass. And that, in his opinion, was the right key. His experience thereafter was so inspiring that a year later, he asked to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. This in a nutshell, is his thesis: The key to understanding the book of Revelation is the Mass. If we rephrase his statement: 'The Mass is the only way a Christian can truly make sense of the book of Revelation.'

    On his Facebook page in 2021, Scott shared, "To go to Mass is to go to heaven, where "God Himself...will wipe away every tear" (Rev.21:3-4). Yet heaven is even more than that. Heaven is where we place ourselves under judgment, where we see ourselves in the clear morning light of eternal day, and where the just Judge reads our works from the book of life. Our deeds go with us when we go to heaven. Our deeds go with us when we go to Mass.

    To go to Mass is to renew our covenant with God, as at a marriage feast-for the Mass is the marriage supper of the Lamb. We are changed forever.
    To go to Mass is to receive the fullness of grace, the very life of the Trinity. No power in heaven or on earth can give us more than we receive in the Mass, for we receive God into ourselves.

    In the Mass, God has given us His very life. We must go to Mass with eyes and ears, mind and heart open to the truth that is before us, the truth that rises like incense. God's life is a gift we must receive properly and with gratitude. He gives us grace as He has given us fire and light. Fire and light, misused, can burn us or blind us. In a similar way, grace received unworthily subjects us to judgment, and to much more dire consequences.

    In every Mass, God renews His covenant with each of us, setting before us life and death, blessing and curse. We must choose the blessing for our own, and reject the curse, and we must do this from the very start. - from my book The Lamb's Supper."

    Dr. Hahn observes that, for most Catholics, the Sunday Mass is anything but Heavenly. Yet, this is his conviction: "When we go to Mass every Sunday, we go to Heaven. And this is true of every Mass we attend, regardless of the quality of the music or the fervor of the preacher. The Mass -- and I mean every single Mass -- is Heaven on earth."

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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