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There is a drama program on television entitled “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” I believe the title comes from a popular wedding celebration song. It is sung by people in love. It is sung to friends who are leaving. The message of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” is universal. It is not only Filipinos who remember. It is part of human nature to remember, and we do remember.
Remember the first time you went to school and you were so afraid your mom would leave you? Remember the time when you went up to receive a medal unexpectedly? Remember the time when your teacher told you the results of a difficult exam and you were the only one who passed? Remember the first time you met your spouse, when your eyes met? Remember the time your daughter told you “I am pregnant” and she was not married?
God wanted to give Peter, James, and John something to remember Him by, something to make them say, “Remember the time when we were on the mountain.” And in remembering that memorable moment—after seeing Jesus agonizing in the garden, carrying the cross, crucified on the cross, and dying on the cross—they regained so much courage.
Remembering is God’s gift to us. When we can no longer remember, that would be a very sad life. When we can no longer remember, that would be a very difficult life.
What does God want us to remember? We remember our successes. We also remember our failures. We remember our triumphs, we also remember our defeats. We remember our health; we also remember our sicknesses. We remember birth, we also remember death. What should we actually remember? Death or birth, humiliation or triumph, success or defeat is immaterial.
What God tells us all the time, whether we are losers or champions, whether we are dying or giving birth, is that He is always there. God is always with us. We must remember that. If God was painfully, loyally, and lovingly present to us in every event in the past, whether in defeat or success, that same memory of God’s presence will give us solace as we face the problems now.
And in remembering, follow the Lord more closely and know the Lord more deeply.
Let us thank God that we can still remember. May we never, ever forget: God is with us. In defeat and success, in birth and death, God will not allow us to be parted from Him. Lord, we are not looking for success or triumph, we are not turning away from defeat and death. We only ask You to stay with us, no matter what happens to us, and that will be enough.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
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