Every year, Fr. John Detisch, the Dean of my part of the Diocese (Erie West Side and West Erie County) makes a visit to Our Lady of Peace Parish. Every year, he asks me for my funeral plans. Being a few weeks short of 30, I don’t really have funeral plans to speak of right now. A few weeks ago, I finally got around to talking to my mother about those plans.
As we talked, we brought up the question, “we will be remembered?” That is, after we die, and the world goes on for years, decades, and centuries, without us, will anyone remember that we were even here? Would you know that Jesus Himself had that same desire to be remembered. It was Holy Thursday, the night before He was to die. He gathered with His apostles – His closest friends and co-workers, who had eaten with Him, travelled with Him, slept with Him under the stars. They did not know that He was to die in the morning. But Jesus knew, and He wanted them to remember Him always.
“The Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Remember me! This is what Jesus said at the Last Supper. How good of a job do we do at remembering Him every day? Do we go through the day performing our worldly duties – at school, at work, at home – with not a thought of Jesus? I must confess, there has been many a day where I have, aside from the formal prayers of the Liturgy.
Who will remember Jesus? Every day, the Priest remembers Jesus. When I baptized the man on his death-bed, as he sat next to his wife – Remember me. When I preach a difficult homily, and I see people holding their head in their hands and reading the bulletin – Remember me. At the funeral home – at the graveside – Remember me. Anointing the sick in the hospital – Remember me. When I feel awkward and/or alone – Remember me. When I offer the prayer of Consecration at God’s altar, or forgive sins through the freedom won by the Blood of the Lamb – Remember me. When I pray in front of the Tabernacle in silent moments, or pray the Rosary – Remember me.
You see, it is the Priesthood that ensures that Jesus is remembered. Without the Priest, Jesus would be forgotten. And considering His great love for us all, could there be a greater tragedy? Yet, many people have no clue who Jesus is – He has been forgotten by many.
My friends, the fields are ripe for harvest, but the harvesters are few. Will you lower you net for a catch? Will you cast your net into the deep unknown? The Priest has the joy of making sure that Jesus is always remembered, always Present. Do not be afraid to discern His call.
Jesus will always remember those who love Him and answer His call. We are never forgotten by Him.