A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, March 21, 2005

A life that "remembers''

5. "'Hoc facite in meam commemorationem.'

"These words of Jesus have been preserved for us not only by Luke (22:19) but also by Paul (1 Cor 11:24).

"We should keep in mind that they were spoken in the context of the Paschal meal, which for the Jews was indeed a 'memorial' (in Hebrew, zikkar├┤n). On that occasion the Israelites relived the Exodus first and foremost, but also the other important events of their history: the call of Abraham, the sacrifice of Isaac, the Covenant of Sinai, the many acts of God in defence of his people.

"For Christians too, the Eucharist is a 'memorial,' but of a unique kind: it not only commemorates, but sacramentally makes present the death and resurrection of the Lord.

"Jesus said: 'Do this in memory of me.' The Eucharist does not simply commemorate a fact; it commemorates Him!

"Through his daily repetition in persona Christi of the words of the 'memorial,' the priest is invited to develop a 'spirituality of remembrance.'

"At a time when rapid social and cultural changes are weakening the sense of tradition and leading the younger generation especially to risk losing touch with their roots, the priest is called to be, within the community entrusted to him, the man who faithfully remembers the entire mystery of Christ: prefigured in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New, and understood ever more deeply, under the guidance of the Spirit, as Jesus explicitly promised: 'He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you' (Jn 14:26)."

John Paul II
Holy Thursday Letter to Priests 2005 (excerpt)