The Hebrew word zakhor, “Remember,” means more than recalling the past. It brings what is remembered into the present.
On the seventh day God ceased, shabat. He called that day holy, kadosh. On Mt. Sinai, He invited his children, his image and likeness, to be with him at least one day a week. He told them, “And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me always” Ex 25:30, preparing us for the arrival of the Mashiakh. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” Jn 6:53–54. In the new and everlasting covenant, Rabbi Yeshua commanded, “Do this in remembrance of me” Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24.
The Catholic Church, as a divine institution in which the Holy Spirit resides, bears the mark of eternity more than any creature on earth. The Church Militant lives in chronological time, in which events have beginning and end points. But interiorly, in her heart, she lives in kairotic time, in which moments in this world have a mysterious connection to eternity. The Hebrew language calls it zakhor. It brings what is remembered from the past, or hoped for in the future, into the present.
When a priest re-presents the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, he brings Rabbi Yeshua’s Final Sacrifice, which occurred in chronological time two thousand years ago, into the present, on the altar. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” 1 Cor 10:16.
Rabbi Paul reminds us, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!” Rom 11:1. “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew” Rom 11:2. Our Father had allowed the Jewish people to keep their eternal election. He established a covenant with Abraham to redeem creation and make the world his dwelling place Gen 17:7. “The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” Rom 11:29. By this promise, the Jewish nation today is a zakhor, a living remembrance of God’s promises, a people standing as a living bridge bringing together our forefathers of the Mosaic Covenant with Rabbi Yeshua’s faith “once for all delivered to the saints” Jude 3.
A people remains alive through zakhor, remembrance. Through the Hebrew Scriptures Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Saul, David, Solomon and all the rest continue to live in our hearts and minds.