Remember Us Lord
«Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom»
9th August, 1987
The more deeply we live in the Holy Liturgy or according to circumstances that make us more perceptive of its words, the more widely it unfolds before us, acquiring a greater depth revealing to us things both human and divine.
How often have we heard at the beginning of the Beatitudes the words «Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom!» – in the glory of Thy Kingship ... And these words sound so natural and simple. And yet, if we imagine for one moment that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes in glory, having conquered for us and for God, overcome all evil, and made this world into His Kingdom of love, of holiness, of perfect beauty – that one of us could be forgotten: what would happen to us? Forgotten of God ... It is only because we are remembered that we exist, that we live! It is only because He remembers us even when w e forget ourselves and one another that we continue to be sustained by the power of life which is His, by His blessing, by His sacrificial love ... How wonderful it is to think that we are secure in God's all-remembrance, even when people forget us! And it happens, it happens: I remember a dark day when I was with a family, and the door opened, and a man who had been five years in the war and was thought to be dead, walked in; his wife looked at him and said «You are alive? We thought you were dead!» ... And these words meant, «we counted on your death, because once you were dead, life had begun anew, in a new manner; I had met other people, I had married another man; you have come – and you should not have come, you should have remained dead» ...
Can you imagine what this man felt? And can you imagine what would happen to anyone of us, however sinful, if, standing before God we saw that He did not remember our name, our face, our existence ... And how wonderfully inspiring it is to think that even if the whole world should forget us – there is One Who will never, never forget: it is the Lord Jesus Christ, it is God One in the Trinity, God Who is Love ...
Think of what happened in today's Gospel (Matthew 14:22–34): Peter, together with the other disciples, saw Christ as a phantom, as a ghost walking on the waters, he was filled with terror: a ghost! And they all cried out in fear. And Christ said «Fear not! It is I!» ... They were tossed by the sea, as we are tossed by the circumstances of our life, by the storms that arise within us. But when they heard the voice of Christ? Peter said, «Let me come unto Thee, walking on the waters.» He knew it was impossible, humanly speaking, but it was possible because all things are possible to God and in God ... And Christ said «Come!» ... And Peter left the frail security of the skiff in which he was with the other disciples,– and began to walk; and suddenly he looked at the sea instead of looking at Christ, he looked at the storm instead of looking at Him Who is the Lord of the storm, as He is the Prince of Peace. And because he remembered himself and the storm, he began to drown; and that very moment when h e had lost sight of God, he cried «Help!», and Christ took him by the hand and brought him to shore.
Here again we see that even at moments when we are carried away by our fears, by our doubts, carried away by the storm that rages within or around us, there is One Who remembers in love, in compassion, in an understanding that goes beyond our own understanding. Because He has plumbed all the depths of human frailty and has carried all the weight of human sin, He can say «Fear not!» – and take us by the hand and save us.
Let us think for a moment of what that means: to be remembered, and what it means to all of us, each of us that there should be people who remember us, for whom we exist, for whom we matter. A French writer has said: To say to a person «I love you» is tantamount to saying «you shall never die». Because it is a supreme affirmation of this person, a person who is thus affirmed, cannot fall out of eternity, of God's eternity, because all love is of God.
How wonderful that salvation is offered and given, how wonderful that we may be partakers of this gift, granting it to others by our love and by our eternal remembrance. Amen.