April 1, 2010
In memory of me
Holy Thursday. There was supposed to be a Passover supper. It was supposed to be a regular, normal Passover supper. And instead horror ensued.
Jesus wearing a sheet washes apostles’ feet.
In a moment, the heaviest word that has ever left Jesus’ mouth, will be said: One of you will betray me. An earthquake. As if a lightning struck. Only shreds of those events reach us today. – Is it me Lord? Is it me Lord? – There are only the twelve of us; there are not any more, which one of us is a traitor?
And then another shock follows. Jesus takes bread in His hands and breaking it, He hands it to His Disciples saying: This is my Body.
We have the text in Polish. How much it varies from the one in Hebrew - it's hard to fathom. We have translations into Greek. That's another jump - that’s a different world, different convention, and different way of expressing oneself, different thought connections, different representations, and different concepts. This is Greek culture. And it is still very distant from our culture; we translated Holy Bible form Latin.
This is my Body – we look at this sentence, we want to understand it, we want to comprehend it, and we want to accept it -- because it's been given to us. What does it mean – This is my Body?
And at the end of the Supper there will be yet another surprise: handing of the wine with the words: This is my Blood.
Dogmatic tradition of the Church fished out the most important texts of those which were being told by the apostles after Jesus’ resurrection. It also fished out this sentence by Jesus: Do this in memory of me. Therefore we do this in memory of Jesus.
What does it mean “This”? Only breaking of bread? Only drinking of wine? No. It’s a Holly Mass. It is a Passover of New Testament in liturgical version.
In memory of me. What does it mean “memory”? It’s an untranslatable word which we have been pondering for two thousand words.
Mystery. Passover of New Testament. Inconceivable for us – it is anamnesis of Jesus’ life together with his death and resurrection.
By celebrating Memory of Jesus’ death and resurrection in the form of Holy Mass we make Jesus present; He is standing among us. He says: This is my Body. This is my Blood. It is Jesus who performs the entire Holy Mass, from the beginning – from the first sign of the cross until the last blessing.
We struggle with this Gift from Jesus since our childhood, since for the first time we were brought to church by our parents – until death, until we receive viaticum before entering eternity.