Do you do things to help you remember stuff? When I try to remember my license plate number, I like to give words to the letters. For example, my Philly plate was GMH, so I said, “Give more hugs.” My now New York plates are JHW – “Joy, hope, wisdom.” A friend has JCL and she said she remembered it as “Jesus Christ and Lynn.” A silly thing, but it helps me find my car in a crowded parking lot. Also I feel it calls joy, hope, and wisdom into my life just by saying the words.
It is good to have ways to remind ourselves of things, places, people. Jesus knew we needed things to remind us of his love for us. The readings this weekend remind us of God’s constant concern, mercy, and compassion for us. Jesus left us stories that help us remember we are loved and never forgotten. But sometimes we forget the stories -- we forget the guidelines given to help us become our best selves.
What are some of the reminders you have that help you to pray, to be thoughtful and kind to another, to hold your tongue when you are about to be critical and complaining? I once saw a poster that read: “Before you speak: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?” It is like three gates to the tongue.
There are a few little reminders I paste on my mirror, by my door, or over my bed. They remind me that I need to strive to be my best self each day. Some days I fail but each new day brings another chance to remember the love that God has for me and the ability I have to make it a great day. In our religious community, we create a yearly covenant with the sisters we live with. We review it monthly and discuss how we can live out the covenant we created.
All of us are called to witness to one another the light that was placed in our hearts through the gift of baptism. None of this can be accomplished by standing still or taking steps backwards. The stories we heard in the readings this weekend speak of moving forward, conversion, and a challenge to remember there is always room for change. They also speak of joy in finding what was lost (like my car in the parking lot) and celebrate the finding with great excitement.
Take some time this week to look at what reminders you need to have around you to be that follower of Jesus, to be your best self in thought, word, and deed. One way this world can be a better place is if each of us tries to be our best self and build up instead of tear down. I hope this reflection can serve as a reminder for you.
Till next week,
P.S. Today and always, let us remember all those who were involved in the tragedy of 9/11. We remember the lives of those who lived their covenant to help those in need. For them and for their families, we pray.