‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Luke 23:42
I sometimes think I have a terrible memory. And is some respects I do. I get myself double booked for events and appointments. I go to the shops and come away with bags full of shopping, but not the one item I actually went for. I run upstairs, then when I get to the top I can’t remember why I went there. I carry my keys on a lanyard round my neck, but still somehow manage to lose them.
And as I get older, it seems to get worse.
But there are some things I never forget. I might forget family birthdays and mix up my children’s names, but I never forget how important they are to me. I might forget an appointment, but I do not forget how important people are to me, and what I have to thank them for. We forget details, but we never forget that people can be hurt or inconvenienced by our forgetfulness. We might forget to do - but we don’t forget that we care. We don’t forget the values which matter - we just forget to apply them.
Memory is always strengthened by caring, by compassion, by love. That is why we ask our Lady to remember us “Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary”. That is why our prayer to the Father often asks us to remember us. That is why, at every mass, we remember before God his words at the Last Supper, his sacrifice on the cross, his rising from the dead. And that is why today we hear the thief says these words “Remember me when you come into your kingdom”
Remembering, real remembering is deeper than dates and times, names and places. Remembering, the perfect calling to mind, is an act of love. How impressed we are, and how valued we feel, when someone important remembers us, something about us, perhaps even our name.
And this is why we call Christ our King. Not because he commands armies or rules nations. Not because of wealth or power.
But because he remembers us, and cherishes us, and holds each of us in his heart.
Jesus - remember me, when you come into your kingdom.