5th Week of Lent
Genesis 17:3-9;Psalm 105:4-9; John 8:51-59
Recall the wondrous deeds he has done. (Psalm 105:5)
Whether it’s forgotten birthdays, straying pens, or faces we can’t place, it’s annoying to lose track of the little things. Forgetfulness becomes downright tragic, though, if we lose sight of the big picture—what life is all about. This is why Psalm 105 is so insistent in its call to remember and praise God for his “wondrous deeds.”
This is perfect encouragement as we head toward our Holy Week celebration of the most wondrous deeds ever. So here is a suggestion for taking on the kind of remembering that leads to gratitude, joy, and transformation: take God’s “wondrous deeds” personally.
The people of Israel told and retold the stories of how God made them a people, handing down their stories from one generation to the next. Especially in recounting the pivotal story of their deliverance from slavery, the retelling took the form of a “you are there” Passover meal.
It still does. Observing biblical and traditional customs, Jewish people today recount their liberation in a way that makes it personal and present: “This is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:8).
In Christ, we can say the same. Israel’s “wondrous deeds” have become part of our history as well, and they are fulfilled in Jesus’ cross and resurrection. As Catholics, we believe that every Eucharist reenacts these saving acts and makes them present to us. The question is: are we present to them?
This Holy Week and Easter, take the story personally. Enter into the reality of the Last Supper, the Passover meal where Jesus provides a way to remember and receive him. He did this for me. Watch with Jesus in the garden, where he suffers so intensely as he awaits his betrayer. He did this for me. See him dragged before the high priest, Herod, Pilate, the jeering crowd. He did this for me. Walk to Calvary, stand at the cross, mourn with Mary. And know, at every step of the way: he did this for me. This is how much he loves me.
Then, having recalled and relived these “wondrous deeds” that God has wrought, you will be readier than ever for Easter rejoicing.
“Lord Jesus, let me never forget that you did all of this for me!”~WAU