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Don't Forget Me, Now

A few years ago I had the honor of celebrating the Eucharist with a great man. His name was Father Lawrence Jencoe, and he had been a hostage in Beirut, Lebanon, for several years. When he celebrated the Eucharist, when he came to the point where the priest repeats Jesus' request to his disciples: "Do this in remembrance of me," Father Jencoe said, instead: "Don't forget me, now."

"Don't forget me, now." How many times must he have wondered, in his dark prison, whether anyone in the outside world remembered that he even existed. In those long years this good man was taken up into the heart of Jesus, as Jesus, too, was about to be seized and tortured. He knew that Jesus, too, was afraid that his whole life would be for nothing: that he would be forgotten. He had good reason to think so: didn't he predict that even his closest friends would run away when he was arrested? And they did!

"Don't forget me, now." Ever since that day, whenever I celebrate the Eucharist, I hear Jesus saying that to me: "Don't forget me." It's so easy to forget. Our lives are so busy. The world is so much with us. But this is all that Jesus asks of us: that we remember him.

- Linda Maloney, from a sermon, "Don't Forget Me, Now"