strona do druku

April 21, 2011

Do this in memory of me

     Eucharist is a rite.  And a rite could be described as: participation in mystery.
     Sometimes someone asks:
     - If I was late to Mass, is that Mass valid?
     I ask:
     - How much late were you?
     - Well, if I came for “Holy, Holy.”
     - Then you were late.
     - What if I came for Presentation?
     - Then you were late.
     - What if I came for "Credo” – “I believe in one God”?
     - Then you were late.
     - So from when on is the Mass significant?
     - It is significant from the very beginning.  From the moment one enters the church.  From the moment one puts a hand in the stoup and crosses himself or herself.  And at least from the reading of the Gospel.
     You are entering a new world.  Mysterious world.  Inconceivable world.  In fact we are only trying to enter this world, to understand it; bit by a little bit, step by a little step.
     - Nah, but each Mass is the same.  So how can one attend the same Mass over and over again through the entire year?  It’s boring.
     - Every Mass is different; for we participate in a different event, in a different teaching by Jesus, in a different Jesus’ sermon, different miracle, and different circumstance.
     Gospel opens up that new world, that event with Jesus, his word – spoken on a mountain, his miracle - calming of a storm, multiplication of bread, or visit in Bethany.  Every fact from Jesus’ life is important and you participate in it.
You are at the Mount of Revelation.  You are at his birth in Bethlehem.  You are there, looking at the multiplication of bread.  This fact, this experience accompanies you through the entire Mass, and through the whole week which is ahead of you – for we are talking about the Sunday Mass.  If during a week you stop at the church for a moment to pray, you recall this Gospel, which you’ve heard on Sunday; at least a word from it, one sentence, one scene.  But Jesus hidden in the Most Holy Sacrament is the same as the one revealed to you on Sunday.
     And this is what the Christian upbringing is all about —through Holy Mass we participate in his life, in his wisdom, tranquility, forbearance, courage, and love – we become more like him.
     Therefore the obligation to participate in the Sunday Holy Mass.  It’s really not the obligation; it’s a gift for us from God.
     Jesus says about this obligation: “Do this in the memory of me.”  What is a memory of a person?  It’s not a rigid picture that you carry within you, but Jesus in motion, in action; talking, performing miracles, being kind to children, to the ones who were despised as sinners, with whom people did not interact, and with whom companionship was forbidden.  And he ate and drank with them, and they called him a glutton and a drunk.  But he did that to convert them, so that they could become human.
     We are learning this from Him throughout the entire year by coming to the Holly Mass on Sundays, intensifying this Sunday image through the participation in a daily Mass, if we have time and can afford this luxury.