The Work of Redemption

Authored by Fr. Phillip Jones in Issue #33.2 of The Sower

What is the greatest word, the most powerful word we say in our life? Each of us has his or her own answer. So, let us ask: what is the greatest religious word? It is ‘Amen’.

When you receive Holy Communion you say ‘Amen’. You receive Jesus into your life. ‘Amen’ is ‘Yes – I accept you Lord’. We could say our ‘Amen’ better – be more loving, more thankful, be a more religious person when we say our ‘Amen’. I do not want to go into how good or how poor our ‘Amen’ may be. I do want to show how special we are just in being able to say our ‘Amen’ to Jesus.

We say another ‘Amen’ at end of the Eucharistic Prayer - the central part of the Mass - and we are saying ‘Amen’ to what the priest has just said – and what has happened. We are part of this long prayer. It is our prayer, too. Let us look at what is happening in this Eucharistic prayer and what is at the same time happening to us.

In the centre of the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest takes the bread and says ‘This is my body given up for you.’ Then, taking the chalice, he says, ‘This is my blood shed for you so that sins may be forgiven’, ending, ‘Do this in memory of me.’

The words of Jesus refer to his death and he wishes us to remember this. Good Friday is all about our remembering. We gather together in Church to remember the death of Jesus.

St John tells us who Jesus really is – the eternal Son of the Father. He also tells us why Jesus is dying – to save the whole world. We come together and allow the Church to guide us, to lead us in this remembering. We could say that we share in the memory of the Church.

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