Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 352

Lectionary: 352

Beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in the love of God
and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

With one of my spiritual conversations with the Veterans, I ask them to "Tell me a story." I want a true story of your own life, a story you might tell your children or grandchildren.
I go on to explain that stories are how we make sense of life. Of the billions of things we have seen and heard and done we pull together certain elements and weave them into a story, hopefully with a beginning, middle and end. Usually our stories are more than interesting; they are revelatory. They tell us and others who we are.
Stories are made of memories, of course, for without our memories we would have no clue about who we are.
Many people use alcohol and drugs to repress painful memories; unfortunately the chemicals suppress all memories; the good and the bad, the painful and the pleasant. Recovery is essentially recovery of one's memories.
But my life didn't begin the day I was born and my stories include those of my parents and grandparents and many generations. They include historic events and movements of peoples. They include people we have never met whose ancestors interacted with ours.
In today's first reading, Saint Jude urged his people to remember the words spoken beforehand by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. The memory of the Apostles' stories are our own. 
Those who forget the religious stories of their people loses connection with their ancestors; which is why Christian Native Americans cling to their native traditions, and why many of European ancestry act barbarically. The latter have yet to learn who they are or where they fit into American history. Their patriotic nativism, rooted in racist theories and a pretentious exceptionalism, is a withered branch torn from the Lord's vineyard.
The Christian religion is nothing if not an historical religion which remembers, studies and honors the past. We remember not only the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; we remember the Church of saints and sinners who have kept his memory alive to this day. Each one, but especially the saints, contributed to upbuilding of our faith. We also remember Jesus' Jewish ancestry from Abraham to Joseph and Mary and their vital role in Salvation History. The New Testament means nothing without the Old Testament.
With our memory intact we keep ourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.