Speak Lord: That we may remember

Jesus in the Temple, Apparitions Hill

The psalm at Sunday’s Mass urges us to pay attention to the Lord’s teaching and, once more be helped by him, to understand the meaning of what has gone before us.

Never forget the deeds of the Lord.

Give heed, my people, to my teaching;
turn your ear to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable
and reveal hidden lessons of the past.

Never forget the deeds of the Lord.

When he slew them then they would seek him,
return and seek him in earnest.
They would remember that God was their rock,
God the Most High their redeemer.

Never forget the deeds of the Lord.

But the words they spoke were mere flattery;
they lied to him with their lips.
For their hearts were not truly with him;
they were not faithful to his covenant.

Never forget the deeds of the Lord.

Yet he who is full of compassion
forgave them their sin and spared them.
So often he held back his anger
when he might have stirred up his rage.

Never forget the deeds of the Lord.

Psalm 77:1-2,34-38

One of the most difficult things for people to deal with seems to be the ravaging effects of Alzheimers on a loved one’s ability to communicate and be communicated with. The loss of memory seems to bring about loss of the person and, in many ways, loss of  our relationship with them.

We are urged to live for today – to live well and lovingly for today. But if, today, we have lost touch with our yesterdays, and the people we have shared them with, there seems a huge amount missing. Our ability to live today well is compromised.

This is not only so for individuals, but for institutions too. In our much more mobile and transient society ‘institutional memory’ is regularly put in jeopardy. When such memory is lost, subsequent change is often made without benefit of wisdom. Then in the changes made we risk losing the institutional ‘form’ and ‘substance’ which bear great symbolic value, and are a repositories of the wisdom of years.

The Tradition is an important dimension of Church life. It is part of what helps us keep faithful, safe (or relatively safe) from the whims of a moment.

The psalmist urges – never forget the deeds of the Lord.

  • Which of his deeds do you most easily remember?
  • What do they teach you about how you are to live and love today?

Photograph of Jesus in the Temple – an interrogation of Tradition! A meditation plaque on the Hill of Apparitions in Medjugorje. (c) Allen Morris, 2014.