BIA Benedict XVI Institute for Africa
Father Zifac

Father Zifac
Diocese of Kumbo

Father Zifac: forgetting and remembering

The words forgetting and remembering are very significant in the Bible. While forgetting is negative and destructive, remembering is positive and constructive and can be redemptive. Both words are important in Jewish and Christian life. In the first reading, we experience a typical case of forgetting. The people of God refuse to remember that God is God, and they are creatures who are totally dependent on him for all that they are and possess. They refuse to remember how he had rescued them from slavery n Egypt, and in this culpable forgetting they become depraved. They create for themselves a god of molten gold, which they worship and acclaim with sacrifices. God becomes angry with them but they are fortunate to have a mediator, Moses, who pleads for them saying: “Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob….” And the Lord does “remember”. Instead of punishing them in anger, he rlents in the punishment he had threatened.

We too often refuse to remember who and what we are in the sight of God our Creator. We rejecthislove, just as did the Jews in the desert and the enemies of Jesus whom he confronts in the Gospel of today. He says to them: “His voice you have never heard… neither do you have his words abiding in your hearts…you do not accept me…” Such an accusation is so terrifying that it should lead us to an examination of conscience. This helps us know the level of our relationship with God. And we see they are true, when we realize that many times we have failed to remember God’s grace and so have sinned, we need to act.

We can cry to the Lord like Moses did for the Jews, we can plead to God with the words of the psalmist: “Lord, remember us,for the love you bear your people.” We can be sure after such a genuine prayer that the Lord, unlike us, will not forget but actually act on his love, forgive our sins, and bless us. He does remember, the Lord remembers and we too, this lent should remember all the more by hard work to eject evil in our lives. Lent is the time for remembering, for turning back to God, for establishing full and intimate relationship with him. Let us never forget the deeds, goodness and love of our God. Let us always remember him in our deepest moments.