Sunday Reflection: Does Remembrance Day have less meaning if hardly anyone has anything to remember? None of us have any personal memories of the first world war, and fewer of us each year have memories of the second, but both will have had their effect on us. Many people will have memories, or at least will remember reading of more recent conflicts, in Rwanda, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. We will know of fathers or grandfathers, aunts, uncles or great uncles who fought, and perhaps died, in World War One and this is even truer when we think of World War Two and more recent conflicts. All this is part of what we remember today. Christians remember Jesus: in communion, we “do this in remembrance of him”. “Nothing’s forgotten; nothing’s ever forgotten.” Remembrance goes deeper than what each of us individually remembers. There’s a great pool of memory in this country, and around the world that won’t let us forget. Of course, in that great pool of memory are all the terrible things that have happened and cannot be made to un-happen as well as all the great and good things that have happened. Bad and good still have their effect today, and all can properly be remembered, as we today on Sunday November 11th, remember the courage and the cost of war. “Nothing’s forgotten; nothing’s ever forgotten.”
Mark 12:38-44The big givers may see their name in lights; but for you, Lord, the big giver is the one who gives from the heart. You do not count the coins but the generosity. Nobody would even know that the widow put anything into the collection box. The coins were small and would make no noise – the large sums were well heard! Jesus recognized her offering, gift and sacrifice. He pointed this out. Our own work for the Lord may be simple and unknown to all but a very few. It is known to God and in God’s sight. Remember St Ignatius’ prayer, ‘Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess you have given me: I surrender it all to you to be disposed of according to your will. Give me only your love and your grace. We are told to Love God and our neighbour. ‘Love God!’ This seems easy. ‘Love your neighbour!’ This is harder. ‘Love yourself!’ This seems alien to the Gospel, but there is a healthy self-love that acknowledges God’s creative love in ourselves. God sees all that is made, including me, and says it is very good. Can I accept this gift happily? Do I appreciate the qualities that can be found in the widows (and other poor) of my world? What values do I use to measure success? Are my thoughts on success in tune with God’s? Reprinted from Sacred Space.