Week 32 | On the Road to Emmaus w/ Bishop Boyea | Remember or recall a blessing from God and share that with someone this week | January 21 to 27

Friday, January 19, 2024

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Remember!  This command comes to us from the Last Supper, when Jesus said, “Do this in memory of me!” (Luke 22:19; I Cor 11:24-25). The Greek word in that sentence is anamnesin.  
The Eucharistic Prayer during the Mass is said while we are kneeling.  During that prayer we are remembering; so that prayer includes an anamnesis!  The Third Eucharistic Prayer puts this well.  Just after the Consecration of the Bread and Wine, the priest proclaims: “Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the saving Passion of your Son, his wonderous Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, and as we look forward to his second coming, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.”
What is it we remember and what does remembering mean? That’s what I want explain during Week 32 On the Road to Emmaus.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1354) defines it thus: “In the anamnesis that follows, the Church calls to mind the Passion, resurrection, and glorious return of Christ Jesus; she presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with him.” What is interesting here is that we are remembering something that happened in the past and also something that will happen in the future. It is like we are in a time warp!

The Catechism (#1104) also addresses this: “Christian liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us but actualizes them, makes them present. The Paschal mystery of Christ is celebrated, not repeated. It is the celebrations that are repeated, and in each celebration there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that makes the unique mystery present.”
Again, we are in a time warp. The present and future are being folded up for us in the present moment. But what is the meaning of all this? This is not some science fiction or Back to the Future movie.  At the Last Supper, Jesus gave his actual Body and Blood which would be poured out the next day.  He has allowed us, by telling us to do this in memory of him, to repeat this making present of the past and future each time we celebrate the Eucharist.
Jesus is the one who makes this possible. We are at the Last Supper. We are at Calvary. We are at the tomb.  We are at the mount of Ascension. And we are at his Return in Glory.  And what is more, Jesus’ offering of himself, his very sacrifice, now is made present and becomes our sacrifice to the Father as the priest prays: “WE offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.” 

And so, to this week’s challenge: I want you to remember. Remember a blessing that God has bestowed upon you and then share that story with someone else. That could be a friend, a work colleague, a family member, or some other person that God’s providence puts in your path this week. We all know how powerful divine grace is in our daily lives. But as Catholics we have a sacred duty to share that amazing reality with those around us. As Saint Peter says: “…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9).
Until we meet again On the Road to Emmaus, may God bless you all.

+ Earl Boyea

Bishop of Lansing