Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

May I Walk with You? Have we Forgotten

I’ve been doing a little reading about the Eucharist, and I came across St. Thomas Aquinas who stated that one of the reasons Jesus gave us the Eucharist is so that we would not forget him. “Do this in remembrance of me.” He explained that Jesus knew that he was about to die, rise from the dead and ascend into heaven and that his followers would no longer enjoy his physical presence. As Catholics, as do many other Christians, we believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, the second person of the Trinity. By instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Jesus made it possible for him to be present to us forever. At mass, Jesus continues to offer himself to us and asks that we give ourselves to him in this most holy sacrament. We call this event that we participate in “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”. At every mass, Jesus continues to offer himself up for us and invites us to deeper unity with him.
Our American culture seems to be quickly forgetting God. Most of our grandparents would be shocked at today’s norms. I imagine them asking, “When did it become legal and ok to kill unborn babies? When did it become normal to live with someone before you got married, or not? When did it become acceptable to have same sex marriages? When did it become normal to be atheistic? When did it become normal to think that the Jesus was just another holy man and not God’s Son? When did it become normal to think of the Bible as just another ancient myth and not the communication of God? When did it become normal to have single parent families? When did it become normal to take children to soccer games on Sunday morning and not to church? When did it become normal…?”
Have we as a people forgotten Jesus and his teaching? Have we forgotten that Jesus said at the Last Supper, “This is my body.” “This is my blood.” Have we forgotten that he said that he would be with us for all time? Have we forgotten that God loves us and wants us to be happy with him forever, that he wants only the best for us? Have we forgotten what it is like to be without him?
Jesus never stops offering himself to us, not only as individuals, but as a people. History is like people who are prescribed medication to feel better. They take it and once they feel better, some stop taking their meds and in a few months are sick again, and only get better when they begin taking their meds. For me, reading the Bible, prayer, being a member of a church community, participating in Mass and especially receiving the Eucharist are the medicine that keep me healthy. In many ways we are a sick society because we have forgotten God, his love, and his way of life. Many no longer follow Jesus and his teaching. Many put themselves, not Jesus, at the center of their lives. How sick do we have to become, before we repent and turn to Jesus and the Gospel? Jesus said, “Turn to me all you who are weary, and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest.”
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you, be gracious to you and give you his peace.”

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