Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
July 17th, 2009

Roc O'Connor, S.J.

Rector and Campus Ministry
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Exodus 11:10—12:14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15 and 16bc, 17-18
Matthew 12:1-8

The first reading today from Exodus 11 and 12 should sound fairly familiar to many of us. It serves as the first reading at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. This narrative of the meal Israel shared before the angel of the Lord passed over them also gives warrant to future generations to make memorial of God’s saving deeds.

I would like to say a few things about remembering.

My mother had Alzheimer’s when she died in 1989. She was almost 63 years old. Mom was a nurse all of her adult life. She would often say, “I’m not as bad off as others think.” She would say that dozens of times. That was hard on my dad, my sisters, brother, and her own mother and sisters.

I would bet that all of us have known someone who has had or now has this difficult and terrible disease.  There seem to be different manifestations of Alzheimer’s. Some wander. Some get very hostile toward others. Some enter that densely foggy place of not knowing anything or anyone.

Here’s the connection with the scriptures:

It is easy to forget God and the saving works of God accomplished on our behalf. I meet lots of people, deal with lots of emails every day, work long hours, and try to remember all the things I have to do. Busy-ness allows me to forget. Busy-ness fosters spiritual Alzheimer’s.

Without that memory, I’m never thankful, never grateful.
How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me?

Without remembering God’s saving deeds, I easily forget that I belong to God.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalm 116)

Without keeping the active memory of God’s saving deeds dear to me, I won’t really understand what Jesus means by, I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

So, what would it look like for the Christian Catholic community to resolve to function as a people of memory? For me, the first thing I would have to do is learn to slow down in order to remember. I’d have to take time to commemorate. Just like that first Passover. What about you?

May your summer days be memorable!
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