by Francis Raymund Gonzales
Digging through a labyrinthine stack of pictures and albums, I had found an old dusty photo album and it contained my baby pictures from my "swaddling clothes" months to my toddler years. I had also found some of my elementary and high-school graduation photos, and some idle photos of my frolicking and play as a child. My mother kept these pictures as a remembrance of my childhood years on earth and as a sign of loving me by cherishing my existence through memories.
Looking back, I never had the desire to cherish myself through memories, or maybe I did but I forget now. Everything just went smoothly through life. I grew up just as normal as any human being has to be. Little I know that my life moments had been captured and had been made forever through photograph. I am 21 now, and with the help of those pictures, I see now a bigger perspective of myself, that I had been journeying along the way and had gone through various changes that lead me to newer vistas in life.
My mother really loves me for capturing those moments. God really loves me because of those moments.
The Bible is the photo album of Christ. It contained the different sceneries of Christ's life. Thanks to his Church, we were able to celebrate his life through the memories that the Bible is retelling over and over. We celebrate his birth at Christmas. His life we commemorate everytime we attend the Eucharist. In Holy week, we celebrate the peak of Christ's mission: his passion, death and resurrection.
"Do this in remembrance of me". The words that he uttered from the Passover banquet echoed to this day. He commands his Church to remember him, and not only his death, or only his passion, but the wholeness of him. The significant times of his life is a message for us to ponder upon. So we must remember, and he commanded that we must ALWAYS take heart the memory of the whole Christ as an antidote for the forgetful heart
Yes, people are so often forgetful. That's why we need a constant reminder, signs and symbols, images, writings and the like. And as Christ knew that he was going to the Father, he left to us memories tacked in time and space. As God time and space cannot claim him as its own. Christ submitted himself to these two realms of palpability, and sanctified time and space altogether to create holy memories. That why we have the city of David and the Today of the angels (Luke 2:11), and we have Jerusalem and the Passover (John 2:13). All in all, it means that Christ is able to leave footprints now in a portion of the long shore, and these signs had so strong permanence that no wave can erase it. It is the permanence of holy memories of the whole Christ through writings and tradition lived up by his Church.
God approves this, that we must celebrate the whole Christ by using the memories he left to us. The scripture gives us actual details, but the Church is his very memory that must spearhead the remembrance. The Church is reliving the very meaning of her existence, that through faith she must remember in every age the memory of Jesus Christ, the Christ now photographed in the minds of the Christian faithful through outward signs and symbols and inner faith.
This Holy Week, we are again reliving the event that happened in God's portion in the shore: Jerusalem. Thanks to our Mother, the Church, she gives us again the photographs to remember upon, and keeps it time after time - a memory worth celebrating for - the whole Christ