What Is the “This” in “Do This In Memory of Me?”

At every Mass we hear “Do this in memory of Me.”  I doubt that the imperative “Remember Me” was necessary at the Last Supper. After all, the disciples were Jewish. Of course, there would be more Passovers and religious meals. Of course, they would never forget to remember Jesus when they gathered. Jesus was not asking the disciples to recall His words and deeds, as we might recall what we ate for breakfast.

The Mass doesn’t recall; it remembers and memorializes. If I recall I ate Cheerios for breakfast, it doesn’t put me in the presence of a bowl of Cheerios.  But the anamnesis at Mass memorializes the Paschal Mystery, the whole life of Christ with emphasis on his death and resurrection. The life of Jesus was sacrificial, most poignantly experienced by his self-offering on the cross. The Father in union with the Spirit accepted the sacrifice of Jesus—his whole life and his death by crucifixion. The offering and the accepting are perpetual, on-going, never-ending, always a present reality. It is into this reality that we insert ourselves. Since I am included in the offering, God the Father accepts me, too. When I leave Mass, it’s my responsibility to do the “This.” The “this” is the whole life of Christ—his actions, words, thoughts, attitudes, everything. As I go about my day, I recall Christ and I remember my life in Him.

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  1. Catherine Schneider on October 28, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    It’s definitely a BIG “this!”