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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Remember the Covenant

Monday, August 21, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for Monday, 20th Week of Ordinary Time: LECTIONARY no. 419 (Jgs 2: 11-19; Ps 106: 34-35, 36-37, 39-40, 43,44; Mt 19: 16-22) The Responsorial (Psalm 106) asks: “Lord, remember us.” During the Institution Narrative Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” So immediately afterwards we go into the “remembrance” (Anamnesis) of the three key events that were the climax of Christ’s life on earth: “Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured... his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven [with the promise to return intrinsic to it], and ready to greet him when he comes again....” Now in Judges 2:11-19 we see Scripture “remembering” a recurrent pattern of events in the history of God’s dealings with Israel and their response. Abandoning the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had led them out of the land of Egypt, they followed the other gods of the various nations around them, and... provoked the Lord. Israel’s infidelity is worse because they are not remembering who God is — “the God of their fathers,” in abandoning whom they abandon their family history and heritage — who “had led them out of... Egypt.” The “great deeds” God did for them are forgotten. “So the anger of the Lord flared up against Israel, and he... allowed them to fall into the power of their enemies.” Sin brings on disaster. The Scripture speaks as if God caused it, but that is just a way of recognizing that any person or nation that does not follow God’s way is by that fact following a way that leads to destruction. God saved them again, “raised up judges to deliver them.” Then “they would relapse.” The pattern kept repeating itself. And still does with us. The Responsorial Psalm (106:43-45) shows how God reveals his “steadfast love” through this pattern: Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious... and were brought low.... Nevertheless he .... remembered his covenant, and showed compassion according to... his steadfast love. In the Institution Narrative Jesus calls us to “remember” the Covenant: “This is the cup of my blood... of the new and everlasting Covenant.” So we remember the Covenant was sealed through 1. “the death your Son endured for our salvation,” 2. “his glorious resurrection” and 3. “ascension into heaven.” Remembering these deeds, made present to us now, we stand in our time “ready to greet him when — in his “steadfast love — he comes again....” In Matthew 19:16-22 Jesus affirms God’s Ten Commandments as the way to live a good human life. But Jesus is the Way to the Life that is Good as only God is Good. To be whole, one in response to him, we need to “die” (through Baptism) to all that life on this earth offers. We need to “sell all,” to subordinate all our possessions, personal relationships, plans and hopes of a prolonged life on earth, in order to “rise” baptismally with Christ, sharing the divine life of God until he “comes again” to make us perfectly “like him” who “alone is Good.” That is the New Covenant that Mass “remembers.”[i]

Initiative: Remember the Covenant as a dying and rising. Live as divine.

[i]Matthew 10:34-39, 13:44-45, 16:24-26; Luke 12:49-53, 14:26; John 10:10; Romans 6:3-13; 1John 3:2.

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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