Friday, April 15, 2016


"But what have you done for me lately?"

Unless someone is family or in our lives in some other capacity so that we must deal with them on a regular basis, if a person is not blowing us up or giving us money (to state it in a vulgar fashion), we tend to forget about them.  It's human nature.  Two weeks after there is a shooter at a school, we forget about making schools safer.  When we figure out we will not benefit from the lottery winner, we have no recall at all who it was that did win and perhaps even that there was lottery.  I imagine this saves us a lot of grief.

But there are some things and persons we should never forget.  There is a part of the Mass called the anamesis (paragraph 79 sub paragraph e).  It is from the Greek word for rememberance.  (Speaking of "remember," something to recall at this moment is that before Latin, Greek was the language of the Church, of which the Kyrie is a remnant.  But of course we cannot forget "Alleluia" which is, in fact, Hebrew). What we remember specifically at each Mass is the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus.  Here is the particular phrase from the Roman Canon (Eucharistic prayer I), "Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the blessed Passion, the Resurrection from the dead, and the glorious Ascension into heaven of Christ, your Son, our Lord, we, your servants and your holy people . . . "

And really, it is not even a matter of, "What have you done for me lately," it is more reminding us that these actions are saving us at this very moment.  If salvation were a roller coaster, we would not be anticipating the ride, we would not be remembering it, it would be as if we were on the wild hair ride down the steep slope, in the midst of the joy and radicalness of the moment.  Unfortunately we can be a bit like my Dad as he descended into Alzhiemers.  About every 15 minutes during his birthday party he would ask, "What are we celebrating?"  We would tell him, "You birthday!"  And he would light up afresh each and every time.  "Really?  This is a party for me?  What a great surprise!"  

You are being loved and saved at this very moment.  Christ did not die 2000 years ago for some idea of you today.  That mystery in which we are present at the Mass is going on right now for you.  Christ suffer and dies for you now.  His resurrections is present to us at the Mass.  At that moment, when the portals of heaven and earth are open, he leads us in His ascension into heaven.  And it is for you.  Not an idea of you.  He calls you by name.  It is almost too much for us to comprehend.  So at the Mass we work on remembering this.


No comments: