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Maundy Thursday: Re-membering

This year's Maundy Thursday was a little different because I spent it with my upper household. :) We did Visita Iglesia and heard mass at San Sebastian. During the homily, the priest talked about the very first Eucharistic celebration (during the Last Supper).

He said that we don't just "remember" but we "re-member." That is, we make ourselves members of the Body of Christ once again. We go back to Him, sinful and sorrowful as we humbly ask for His mercy and forgiveness.

On a personal note, I believe that the "re-membering" part should be done everyday. It's not easy, but there's no other way to live but to stay connected to the giver of life. :) 

Let me share this beautiful reflection from the liturgical leaflet given at San Sebastian Church:

Eucharist: The Memorial That Makes Us Live

Images, statues, paintings, and photos are "visual reminders" that enable us to make a "journey to the past" and help us remember the dear people that are no longer with us, their deeds, the values they treasured and for which they may have suffered and even died. Our viewing them often becomes an inspiration - a challenge to transform remembrance into imitation, feelings into action. Many of the good deeds of today are the fruits of the inspirational role of the monuments that recall the past.

Of all the "reminders" of the past, none is so precious as the Eucharist, the "memorial" of Christ's suffering, death, and ressurection. Unlike the crucifix or the cross or other images of the suffering Christ, the Eucharist is not just a "visual reminder" which helps us remember how much Jesus loved us. It is immensely more, for the Eucharist is JESUS HIMSELF, in the fullness of his person as the crucified, risen, and glorified Lord, though under the simple appearances of bread and wine.

This is a wonderful reality that can be perceived only through the eyes of faith. We accept it, nonetheless, as the teaching of the Church, which is rooted in the very words of Jesus: "This is My Body. . . This is My Blood." How a simple piece of bread and a little wine can become the Body and Blood of Christ is, indeed, a "Mystery of Faith."

Such a marvelous change takes place whenever the Christian community, led by the ordained Minister, makes memory of the death and ressurection of the Lord, repeating the gestures and the words pronounced by Him at the Last Supper. It is those words, pronounced by the priest celebrant, and the power of the Holy Spirit, which makes Jesus become and remain present in the consecrated Bread and Wine. This is why we genuflet or bow down deeply before the Tabernacle and constantly keep a burning lamp near it to remind us that "Jesus is there," as even the little children know.

Jesus' presence in the Eucharist is not static but most vital and dynamic because it makes available the inexhaustible fruits of His saving death and resurrection not only for the participants, but also for the whole world. His presence brings us His salvation, consolation, and peace. The Eucharistic Bread and Wine are the source of strength for the martyrs; the source of chastity for the virgins; and the source of the grace we all need to do our duties, day by day.

When we receive the Eucharist properly disposed, Jesus becomes part of us, and we become ever more part of Him, in spite of all our limitations and unworthiness. Thus, the unity and identification with Him that began in baptism is deepened and developed as part of that transforming effect of the Eucharist that makes us ever more "Christ-like," indeed, "another Christ."

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