All of Christ’s mysteries are mysteries of faith.  Without faith we could not accept any of them.  The very idea of mystery implies something we can neither see clearly nor understand fully through human reason alone.

The Eucharist is one of the greatest of mysteries.  That’s why it is difficult to accept. Think of the reaction of those people who first heard Jesus’ promise of the Eucharist.  There is, however, one aspect of the mystery of the Eucharist that is relatively easy to understand.  We understand how someone who loves someone else wants to be with them as much and as closely as possible.  We believe Jesus found a way to do that in our regard.

St. John begins his description of the events of the passion by saying Jesus knew his hour was at hand.  He continues; “He had always loved those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was.”  Christ’s love for us is eternal and unchanging but at that particular point in time he gave a special testimony of his love.

This passage gives a very touching picture of the humanity of Jesus.  We know from our own experience that it is typical for people to give special signs of their love just before separation. Think of all those classical departure scenes in movies and novels.  When parting, people want to give a loved one a remembrance.  The dialog is something like this: “Here, I want you to have this.” The understanding is I want you to remember me.
That is exactly what Jesus did.  Knowing that he would soon be separated from his followers in his human form he gave a clear and special sign of how perfect was his love.  He gave his followers a special remembrance of himself.

When St. Paul tells of the institution of the Eucharist he adds something to the accounts of the evangelists.  He adds these words of Christ: “Do this in remembrance of me.”  (I Cor. 11:24)  Truly commemorating an event means recommitting ourselves to some-thing (like to our country of the Fourth of July) or to someone (like to one’s spouse on a wedding anniversary).  It is important for us to do that.

When we remember, we are remembered i.e. restructured, refreshed by who or what is important to us.  Jesus wants us to remember, to be with him in his death and resurrection and to be restructured, refreshed by those events. That’s why he told us: “Do this in remembrance of me.”