A grandmother wrote in Catholic Digest that her daughter’s family goes
to Mass every Sunday. At Communion-time the parents and two oldest children
receive the Eucharist while the three smaller children remain in the pew. One
Sunday, just before Communion, the three-year-old whispered to her mother.
"Mommy, can I go up to heaven with you this morning?"
That little girl had wonderful spiritual insight! Jesus is the Bread from
heaven who allows us to share in the life of heaven. Last Sunday’s Gospel
recounted how Jesus multiplied loaves and fish to feed a large crowd. This
miracle so impressed the people that they follow Jesus to Capernaum, perhaps
hoping for more free food. Jesus tells them in today’s Gospel to look not "for
food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life." Their Jewish
ancestors had been fed in the desert with manna, which they called "bread from
heaven." But the REAL Bread from heaven, Jesus says, was sent by the Father to
give life to the world. What is meant by this "bread from heaven?"
Jesus gives the answer: "I am the bread of life." When we receive him in Holy
Communion, we receive true heavenly Bread and are, in a very real sense,
transported to heaven because we are united with Jesus who is in glory,
surrounded by angels and saints. We can best appreciate this reality with the
help of our Blessed Mother, through whom God sent Jesus from heaven into the
world. She is now in heaven, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, enthroned at his
right hand. So each time we go to Communion, let’s say to Mary, "Mother, can I
go up to heaven with you this morning?"