faithbook A message for quiet meditation
by JAN FARROW, Lay Reader at Holy Epiphany
Here we are in August, the children are on holiday, and many are looking for a change to their general routine, including me. I prefer not to go away during this busy holiday period, but it is a time to maybe rest, relax, enjoy the sunshine and go a little slower. I have been looking at the various photos around the house recalling many happy family occasion and holiday exploits. It has been said “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Very true! I well remember a few years ago sorting through a very large suitcase full of photos, taken before the days of phones with cameras. I made 2 piles for my sons and one for myself, they now take up much less space, but today I noticed my phone has several thousand photos stored, all with instant access and dated, amazing. So many memories to call upon.
Memory of course can be faulty, but we are told, a photograph doesn’t lie – umm, I wonder! My daughter in law recently sent a photo of herself with a tiger in her kitchen, she had just purchased a new phone with “a wonderful camera” - I am suspicious.
Now I cannot produce a photo of myself or anyone else for that matter with Jesus (you wouldn’t believe me anyway!), but I do have many cherished memories of Jesus/God moments and I am still continuing to make new faith memories. I recall times when God has shown me the way to go.
Pope Francis on Thursday urged Christians always to memorise the way and circumstances in which God has been present in their lives, saying this helps to strengthen their faith. Taking his inspiration from the day’s readings, he reflected on the need for Christians to look back and store in their memories all the key moments and signs of God’s presence in their lives. He said we must memorise both the beautiful things done by God as well as the obstacles and rejections, because God accompanies us and is not frightened off by our wicked deeds.
“We must look back to see how God has saved us, follow—with our hearts and minds—this path with its memories and in this way arrive at Jesus’ side. It’s the same Jesus, who in the greatest moment of his life—Holy Thursday and Good Friday, in the Last Supper—gave us his body and his blood and said to us ‘Do this in memory of me.’ In memory of Jesus. To remember how God saved us.”
Pope Francis went on to explain how the church describes the Sacrament of the Eucharist as a “memorial,” just as in the Bible the book of Deuteronomy is “the book of the Memory of Israel.” And we must do the same in our personal lives, he said.
Concluding his homily, the Pope said our hearts should give rise to a sense of gratitude towards Jesus who never stops accompanying us “in our history.” How many times, he admitted, have we closed the door in his face, how many times have we pretended not to see him and not believe that he is by our side? How many times have we denied his salvation? But he was always there.“
Memory makes us draw closer to God. The memory of that work which God carried out in us, in this recreation, in this regeneration, that takes us beyond the ancient splendour that Adam had in the first creation. I give you this simple advice: Memorise it! What’s my life been like, what was my day like today or what has this past year been like? It’s all about memory. What has my relationship with the Lord been like? Our memories of the beautiful and great things that the Lord has carried out in the lives of each one of us.”