I understand that there is “in memory of…” that will remind me of say, my grandmother, or my first big hit in a serious baseball game, maybe even that first kiss. It takes me back and those memories can even give me that special tingly feeling all over again.
When Jesus spoke these words, “Do this in memory of me,” he was speaking, ritualizing, and living out of the essence of being Jewish. To remember in this way is to be taken back to THE original event as if we are re-enacting it all over again. I guess that is what we mean by real presence; that is the mystical way we--our entire selves--are bound up in that last supper through him, with him, and in him. The divisions of past, present, and future do not exist when we “do this in memory of him.” It is beyond reason, as good as rational thought gets; it is beyond the emotive, though there are plenty of feelings associated with this meal. It is beyond doctrine, dogma, or any religious decree of who is welcome to partake of the meal of Jesus. It is his meal. He offers himself as the meal so that we might re-member that we are one.
I am in Estes Park this week for some continuing education and renewal. It is raining, cold, foggy and even snowing at times on this 16th of May. Though the “weather outside is frightful” I have trekked all over this campus, into downtown, and a couple mile jaunt up the western trail for good measure.
There is presence within every step I take across the YMCA camp. You probably know the feeling entitled, “Every time I go to the mountains, I feel so close to God.” It is a common experience in us. It is the truth of creation to offer the creator, who is wildly free, to come to us through our senses. The physicality of creation is not less than the spiritual. It is the doorway to and the blessing of the Spirit.
There is presence and memory here. Over the last two decades they have been planted and nurtured by deep friends, spectacularly common surroundings, and the sounds of an untamed one still free to roam under the moonlight.
In memory, amidst presence, with gratitude…
Father Scott Jenkins is a Founding Director of the Celtic Way. Read more about him Here.