His Memory at Mass
Memory is a beautiful reality! "God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December." James Matthew Barrie It consists in putting in the depths of our minds and hearts another person. Each morning at Mass Jesus commands us: "do this in remembrance of Me". Luke 22:19 In the Scriptures memory is a vital concept. But God remembered ( Hebrew zaw-kar) Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. Gen 8:1 When God remembers Noah He saves him and creation! When God remembers us we are in the heart of God and are deeply touched by Him. His memory ignites the compassionate love of God. "And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob." Ex 2:24 When God remembers He saves. Being in the memory of God is a beautiful place to be.
When at the Eucharist we are in the presence of the most explosive moment of Divine Love in Salvation history. We know that Christ dies no more but because of Christ’s divine nature all his human acts are caught up into an eternal now. When we participate in the Mass we are experiencing His memory in-force. The "Living One" holds us close in his awareness and heart at the liturgy. Are we not privileged as St John was at Last Supper to "lean on Jesus’s chest" John 13:25
Divine Memory is different than human memory. When I have a person in my mind and heart I exercise no causality on him. But when I am up front and center in God’s memory his love can and does effect me. When Jesus tells us: " do this to my memory " we awake the primal divine fire of His love for us on the Cross. Here at St Agnes Church in Louisville we have a beautiful glazed terra-cotta over the main altar. St Paul of the Cross is reaching to embrace the Crucified Christ who is extending his arm to grasp our saint. I think this is a beautiful picture of what happens to us at Mass. We are swept up into the living and present reality of the crucified and risen Christ. We are touched by this memory of Christ. We pray with the good thief one of the shortest and best prayers of the New Testament: "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" Lk 23:42
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.