Remember the days past. 

Did you know that the Christian life is a lot like rowing a rowboat?   Here’s how.   Anyone who has ever rowed a boat will tell you that it’s a little confusing at first.   You have to get used to keeping your destination behind you instead of in front of you as you work the oars.   That’s because our bodies have more muscle power concentrated in our back and shoulders than in the front.   Thus, pulling is a more efficient motion than pushing.   So you end up propelling yourself “backward” to get to where you want to go.

What does this have to do with the life of faith?   Today’s first reading explains:  “Remember the days past” (Hebrews 10:32).   Recall times when you felt especially close to the Lord.   Or think back to the days of the early Church or the joy of St. Francis or the humble commitment of Mother Teresa.   Casting your mind back, recall how exciting life was, even if it included hardship.   You didn’t mind because Jesus was with you, and life was full of promise.

In other words, the best way to grow in your faith is to look back at all the good things the Lord has done.   Let these memories propel you forward through rough waters.   Let the lessons from your past guide you as you encounter new challenges.   Take the words of the saints who have gone before you as advice for the future that awaits you.   And always—always—keep the ancient teachings and stories of Scripture in the forefront of your mind.

At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples, “Do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19).   Nearing the end of his life, St. Paul told Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8).   St. Peter too promised that he will “always remind” us about Jesus and his love (2 Peter 1:12).   So remember.   Remember it all.   Except the sin, that is.   Even Jesus has forgotten that.

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