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Holy Land Pilgrimage

Do This in Memory of Me

December 4, 2022

One of the things I have learned about my own spiritual life during my time in seminary is that it is very much grounded in memory. In prayer, God will repeatedly draw me back to certain moments from my past to show me how he has always been working, forming me into the man I am today. This movement always initiates the same response: A sense of thanksgiving and a deep awareness that God has placed his fingerprint on every moment of my life.

This theme of memory is something that I continue to sit with as we progress on our pilgrimage through the Holy Land. The past is not a thing to be forgotten here, it is a living reality that shapes the future of all those who visit these sacred sites. Figures like Jesus, Mary, John the Baptist, and Elizabeth not only show us where we have been, they show us where we are going, and they inspire us to live the Christian life with more joy and intention.

Recognizing the gifts that God has given us and responding with gratitude is a concrete truth of the spiritual life and a sure-fire way to draw closer to Christ and his Church. The sites of the Holy Land remind us that Jesus was a real person who lived at a particular time and in a particular place. That life is something he asks us to remember every time we go to Mass. The words “do this in memory of me” uttered by Jesus at the last supper and again by the priest at every Mass give meaning to our thanksgiving. We are confident in what God will do for us because we are confident in what he has already done for us.

Grant Colborn
Diocese of Rockford

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