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Do This in Remembrance of Me

 

Let me share with you two verses from Scripture that influence the way I feel about attending daily Mass. The first is from St. Luke’s account of the Last Supper. Jesus’ time was running short. He knew that His betrayal and death would distress and unnerve His disciples, and He wanted to give them something powerful to hold on to.  “And he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19). Fearful as they were, the disciples took His words to heart. “Do this in remembrance of me.” Not only did they hold on to those words, but they shared them with anyone who would listen. “Do this,” they said, passing on the instructions Jesus had given them.

Twenty years later, when St. Paul retold the story of the first Holy Thursday in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:24), he repeated Jesus’ instruction, “Do this in remembrance of me.” All these centuries later, Jesus still says to us, “Do this.” So, when Sunday morning comes, we get up, get dressed, and go to Mass. We answer Jesus’ call to, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

But what about Monday? What about Tuesday and the rest of the week? For half of the year, mornings are cold and dark and busy with preparations for school and work. It takes quite an effort to roll out of a warm bed and slide your feet into cold slippers before the sun even comes up. And to do it half an hour earlier every day in order to go to Mass takes an extra measure of strength…strength of purpose, strength of commitment, strength of a heart filled with the love of God.

That’s where the second Scripture verse comes in. Mark 12:30 says, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” You need all four: heart, soul, mind and strength. The love of God which dwells in your heart calls you to Mass, and the strength of your commitment gets you up and out the door. Your mind and soul complete the package during the Mass. Loving God with “all your mind” means listening to the daily readings and the homily and then pondering the message. No daydreaming!

The big winner at daily Mass is the soul. When you love God “with all your soul,” every word of the Mass is precious, but none more so than the last prayer before Communion. While most of the prayers said at Mass are communal, this one is personal: “Lord, I am not worthy, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” My soul shall be healed! God promises to touch and heal the very center of my being!

The grace that comes from God at Mass is both communal and personal. And that’s what makes daily Mass worth the extra effort that you and I may have to make on a cold winter morning. Jesus calls us to “Do this” with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. It’s His personal invitation, and He’s waiting for us to RSVP.

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2 thoughts on “Do This in Remembrance of Me

  1. So beautiful Irene! It does take commitment to get up early and physically, get ready to receive the body and blood of Christ. I wish I had that level of strength and commitment, though I am able to go at least half of the week instead of hearing mass virtually. Thank you for this personal insight right before receiving Jesus.

  2. Really like this one. I sometimes have a problem with the no daydreaming part. Liked the picture,too!

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