Young Adults of St Francis

A Love to Remember

Posted on: June 29, 2011

Message ~ from Rev. Fr. Vincent Anyama

June 27, 2011

I worked at St. Monica parish in Dallas for a year as part of my formation to the priesthood. When I was leaving the parish to return to my place of studies in Houston, I received several gifts, especially cards. In the cards were contained people’s expressions of how they felt upon my departure. While going through the cards, it dawned on me that they were all saying the same thing, which was, “always remember that we love you”. Part of expressing love through concrete things such as cards, gifts, hugs, kisses, and photographs, is our attempt to ensure that the love expressed and received is remembered and never forgotten. If we love someone, we want that person to remember it for the rest of his or her life.

Just as we want our human loves for each other to always be remembered, even more does God want His love for us to dwell in our hearts forever. Speaking for myself, I know that when I am in bed, when I am at work, when I am in distress, when I am very sick, and when I am dying, I want to remember the love of God for me. We need God’s love to live a joyful life and die a meaningful death.

That’s why Christ came, precisely to help us, not to only remember God’s enduring love, but even more to possess it in our hearts. And so to show us how God loves, he died on the cross for those whom he loves. To make sure that we never forget the event of the cross, Jesus did not write a best seller book describing the death he was to endure for us, nor did he rely on the feeble memory of his apostles. Rather he instituted the Eucharist. This was to ensure that his blood, poured out on the cross, flows through our own blood vessels, and that his body, broken on the cross, becomes one with our own body.

At his Last Supper with his Apostles, Jesus took bread and wine, and made them his body and blood for our consumption. Then he authorized and mandated his Apostles (and their successors—the bishops, and those sharing their authority—the priests), to perform in his name the same action of the Last Supper. He gave them the resounding mandate, do this in memory of me, to ensure that his body and blood, soul and divinity, is easily accessible to many for all generations.

If there is a love to remember by all people, it is the love of God perfectly expressed on the Cross of Christ. In an unbloody way, the Eucharist always makes present before our very eyes, this divine love; and even more, it soaks our whole being with the live giving body and blood of Christ. If we forget the enduring love of God, we will all perish in despair. If we distance ourselves from the Eucharist, we become more forgetful of the divine love. Lest we forget our goal in life, the Eucharist is there to remind us of what it is: to be like God, love like God, and sacrifice ourselves in love as God did for us.

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