Archive | 3:14 am

Memories That Come Alive

1 Feb

I’m a diehard sports fan, so I will be in my glory this coming “Super Bowl weekend,” even though my beloved Chiefs aren’t playing for the 42nd consecutive time–but who’s counting. I’ve never been to a Super Bowl, which would be awesome, but I’ve been to plenty of major sporting events in my life. If I had to single out one sporting event above all the others, hands down it would be the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles. More specifically, it was being present to witness the USA’s Edwin Moses’ gold medal performance in the 400 meter hurdles.

The race didn’t begin until dusk. As the runners got situated in the starting blocks, the 100,000 spectators in the Los Angeles Coliseum became deafeningly quiet. As the race began, all eyes were on the runners. The stadium was aglow with lighters, lit matches, and the flashing of cameras. The silence at the start of the race quickly gave way to a rumble that crescendoed into a roar as Moses triumphantly thundered down the stretch on his way to Olympic glory. Everyone knew that we had just witnessed something very special.

As exciting as Edwin Moses’s gold medal performance was, it was just a sporting event. Yet this experience illustrates that we’re very capable of focusing our attention when we think something is truly important, despite the many distractions in our lives. Our hearts can be found close to what we treasure (cf. Mt. 6:19-21). Where does our treasure–our “gold medal”–truly lie?

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the memorial of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, the most significant event in the history of the world, occurring in the “fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4). This event not only has left its indelible mark on world history, but even defines who we are today. This event preeminently merits our attention.

Given the fundamental importance of the Mass, we must ask why more people do not fervently enter into the sacred mysteries. Even among the evangelized–those who believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead–there are those who don’t consider the Mass all that important, and perhaps don’t even believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. While this is a complex issue, I think much of the problem comes down to a misunderstanding of what a “memorial” is. Continue reading