Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them saying,
“This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” (Luke 22:19)
What a wonderful memory that is, revisited at every consecration at every Mass! We remember and treasure that saving, nourishing miracle of our Savior. We have followed his direction gratefully for so many years.
What else do we remember learning about and from Jesus? What else can we do in his memory? We certainly recall his telling Peter to forgive transgressions seventy times seven times. (Matthew 18:22) That’s a tall order, but we can try to develop a willingness to be forgiving and understanding. We remember how good it feels to come out of the confessional. Starting over with a spouse or friend after a disagreement feels very refreshing.
We remember how many times we read in Scripture of Jesus healings of the blind and disabled. We cannot perform healing miracles like those, but we can offer sympathy, aid, and understanding to people who are suffering. Crowds would follow Jesus, even break through a roof, as they brought numerous friends and relatives to be touched by him. They persisted even though Jesus must have been extremely weary. Let’s stop and think about his example when a whining child pursues us or an impatient friend is complaining about a personal problem and wants our help. Remember what Jesus would do.
If we cannot recall all of the Beatitudes, we can read them again. (Matthew 5:3-11) Jesus’ teachings are memorable and give us goals for which to strive. In our world that often encourages selfishness and egocentricity, Jesus reminds us of the holy way of life. When we do the right work on ourselves regarding priorities, peace-making, and mercy, we are “blessed.” Jesus was a methodical and thorough teacher; we can try to emulate his style.
Remember when the Pharisees and Herodians were trying to get Jesus in trouble about paying the tax to Caesar? We see that Jesus amazed them with his answer about the right order of things. (Mark 12:13-17)
So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what
belongs to God.” (Mark 12:17)
Keeping things in the right order, keeping our priorities right is a challenge. The Holy Spirit is available to help us.
As we get older, sometimes our ability to remember things becomes far from perfect. That is not so with God. We can take great comfort from the Lord’s words to Israel in Isaiah 49:15-16:
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget, I will never forget you.
See, upon the palms of my hands I have
written your name;
your walls are ever before me.”