Holy Communion gives us a pledge of future glory because it establishes sacramental contact between Jesus Christ, Who reigns in glory, and ourselves on earth.
The glory which is reserved for us in Heaven is twofold—the glory of the soul and the glory of the body. The glory of the soul consists in the Beatific Vision of God. God communicates to the soul a wondrous gift known as the light of glory, whereby His own splendor pervades the human mind and empowers it to see God as He sees Himself.
Secondly, there is the glory of the body, a supernatural gift whereby our frail bodies are made like the glorified body of our risen Savior. On the last day, the bodies of the just will be brilliant like the sun, endowed with the power of angelic swiftness, spiritualized, and made incapable of suffering.
The Blessed Sacrament is the pledge of, and the preparation for, the eternal glory of the soul and of the body. Our souls, being brought into such close contact with our Savior, share in His divine life. As we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, we enjoy a pledge of the glory of everlasting life, for He said, “I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51).
Holy Communion establishes between Jesus Christ and us not merely spiritual contact, but sacramental contact as well, through the “species” or outward appearances of bread. The resurrection of the body can be traced to this contact with Christ. Holy Communion provides us with a promise of resurrection. Our bodies will be more strikingly glorified if we have frequently been in contact during life with the risen body of our Lord.
Though our bodies will die and be changed to the dust of the earth, they will be reunited to our souls on the last day and share their immortality. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25–26).
The glorious resurrection of the body is an effect of Holy Communion. It confers on us the right to a glorious resurrection, which Christ promised to those who eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54).