From the desk of Fr Stephen
Barbara Streisand sings a song called Memories. It is a very nice song, and it reminds the listener of all the people we have lived with who do not live with us anymore. Sometimes when we have a reunion of some sort, we get together with those we may not have seen in quite a while and we talk about the old times. Most often, the first words out of our mouths are, “Do you remember when…” and then we tell all of those old stories of things we remembered from so long ago. These memories can be both happy and sad because we may miss people that are not with us anymore.
As Jesus leaves the Apostles, they can only be left to wonder, “Do you remember when…” but they are not alone. They have the memories of all the things Jesus did when he was still with them. This is why the Tradition of the Church is so important for all of us to remember. The Bible gives us small references to what Jesus said and did. Certainly, countless other stories were never written down, and the Apostles must have called to mind these stories over the rest of their lives.
Well, we have memories also of our faith life with Jesus, and we continue to spread that faith life to those around us. It is good for us to recall the many times Jesus may have spoken to us in our lives and to pass those memories on to the ones we love. I remember once (you see how these thoughts start with that phrase) when I was praying, and I was knocked on the head by Jesus like St. Paul on his way to Damascus. All of a sudden, I felt an overwhelming presence of Jesus in my life. I have never felt this way at any other time. I thought, “if this is what Heaven is like, I want to die right now.” That’s how powerful that feeling was at the time. That feeling, that memory has been with me and carried me through many of the hard times of suffering I have experienced. It does help us when we have those memories, and they can take us through the hard times. I hope you have had an experience like that in your life that has carried you through your difficult times. We can then share those memories with others, and the testimony we give will inspire others to follow Jesus more profoundly. This is how faith is spread. I want the faith of Jesus and the memories of Jesus to spread throughout the world. Let us continue to pray that we may be that instrument in the hand of Jesus to do His work.