Do this in memory of me
“We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know Him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.”
It is not in any way unreasonable to ask ourselves what we have done with our lives especially if you are as old as me! How will posterity remember us and what legacy will we leave behind. It would be so nice to be remembered even for a short while following our demise.
I am sure that none of us would want to be remembered as being a miserable unfriendly human being and we certainly would not like people to say that we did little to make a difference in our corner of the world. Deep down in our inner core is the desire to have done something worthwhile with our lives. We would like our families and friends to remember us as loyal, faithful, generous, hardworking, compassionate, hospitable and welcoming.
Many of us celebrate the different milestones in our lives such as Birthdays, Wedding Anniversaries and so on, as an opportunity to celebrate so that when we have passed on the next generation might give us a fleeting thought as they recall us on significant days through the year.
In this reflection Jesus is the subject matter, because He is the One who called His disciples together and blessed, broke and shared bread with them. He had previously fed the thousands who were hungry showing concern for them. Jesus Himself is the Blessed One of God having had His body bruised and broken to the point of death showing us that love pays the ultimate price of sharing one's self with others. To quote His own words "THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE THAN TO LAY DOWN ONE'S LIFE FOR ONE'S FRIENDS". "AS I HAVE DONE SO YOU MUST DO"
What did Jesus mean and what does it mean for us today?. Every time we gather to celebrate the Eucharist (Mass) this instruction is repeated. According to Holy Scripture Jesus took bread, blessed it, shared it, and gave us the instruction as He said "DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME"
For over 2,000 years the church has identified these words with the most important words of the Eucharist; the words of Consecration of the bread and wine. Let us imagine the scene of the Last Supper and the unusual group of disciples called from many positions in life with Jesus in the midst of them. I doubt if the full impact of what Jesus was doing made any real sense to the gathering. Would Jesus have known that this memory of Him would be carried on for thousands of years and celebrated in beautiful and spectacular events like An International Eucharistic Congresses?
Each Congress has a different Theme and the last Congress had for its theme COMMUNION WITH CHRIST AND ONE ANOTHER. As a people of God we need each other and that is obvious when we celebrate the Eucharist together.
Sometimes when our priest is away here in Bermondsey and Mass is not available to us, I follow online from places like Knock Shrine where thousands gather every day or at Clonard Monastery in Northern Ireland where as many as 12 Eucharistic Ministers are needed to help the Priest distribute Holy Communion. If you have an Ipad it is a very worthwhile time of Prayer to follow Mass from these two places, but there are also many, many places in our world where we can follow Mass at any time of the day or the night. Let us continue to hunger for the Bread of Life that will sustain us as we continue our Faith Journey which can take us through challenging experiences.