Friday, January 26, 2018

"Do This In Memory of Me"

On the night before he died, the Lord took bread, said the blessing and gave it to his disciples, saying: "This is my body for you." Afterward, he took the cup and gave it to his disciples, saying: "This is my blood to be shed for you; do this in memory of me."

"Do this in memory of me " are words that ask us to remember what the Lord did at the Last Supper. In a diocesan bulletin, a university professor tells us of the four ways these words can be viewed.

1) Not remembering the words and not acting on them

2) Remembering them but not acting  

3) Doing them but not remembering why

4) Remembering and carrying them out

A Catholic who doesn't remember or act on these words is a person who has lost his sense of direction. Today one way tomorrow another way, a person who doesn't know what is important.

A person who remembers but does not act on what he remembers can be called lazy. He knows what needs to be done but hesitates. The response is rationalized to make one feel good.

Those that carry out the words but don't remember why, are living by habit. When one repeats the acts it becomes second nature and no longer remembers why.

Remembering and acting is the act of a person who is at peace and not moved by the mundane. A person happy in all that is done.

Most historical Christian Churches believe in the literal meaning of the words of Jesus at the last supper. The later Christians began to see this as a metaphor and a symbol of encountering Jesus. Strange, "Do this in memory of me" in the context given it's difficult to give a symbolic, poetical, or metaphorical meaning to the words.

Sad also that one of the most important imperatives to the Church before his death could have been misundersood for so many centuries. 'Faith in search of understanding' is a humble approach to the encounter with Jesus. 

During the Unity Octave from Jan.18 to Jan 25, we prayed to understand the words of Jesus as he wanted them understood. We can begin with a long, deep look at the words at the Last Supper and try to enter the minds and hearts of the early Christians to understand why they would take these words as literal when doing so cost them so much during the many years of persecution.