April 11, 2021
Celebrate!! If we fast for forty days, we celebrate for fifty!! For these fifty days of the Easter Season, ending with the Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the reality we celebrate every Sunday! And that reality is THE central mystery of our faith, the Paschal Mystery. The Paschal Mystery is the life, death and resurrection of Christ and our lives therein. “Paschal” refers to Easter and Mystery here means a sacred mystery, a sacred reality that is so encompassing that we can encounter it, explore it, and yet, no matter the depth of our journey we will never fully understand it. That is a very big mystery! And the Church has found it easier to understand if we focused on different parts of the mystery at different times of the year. Think of the Paschal Mystery as a diamond, over the course of the year we focus on different facets of this mystery. For example: at Advent and Christmas we focus on the second coming and the birth of Jesus, at Easter we focus on the resurrection of Christ. But even though we may focus on one aspect or another we are always and everywhere celebrating the fullness of the mystery of Christ.
When we speak of mystery, we need to approach this in a very specific way. The Paschal Mystery isn’t a mystery in the sense of the incomprehensible, something that keeps us out. Rather, the Paschal Mystery is a mystery that invites us ever more deeply inward. The more insight we gain, the more there is for us to experience. It is a mystery without end, one grounded in the mystery of God.
The Easter Season and Sunday celebrate the same thing but Sunday isn’t a little Easter, rather, Easter is a very big Sunday! And like every Sunday, during the fifty days of Easter we focus on hope! We focus on the Gospel and in the Gospel, Jesus preached hope through preaching the coming of the Reign of God. Through our baptism we are called to help build the Reign and we do this by following the Gospel. We are called to live as Christ lived, to do as Christ did: treat others with compassion, forgiveness and love, giving ourselves away to those who are in need. To live thus is to bring the Reign of God to fruition, and to build hope that what the Father did for Christ, the Father will do for us. Christ’s resurrection is a sign that the Reign has begun, it gives us deep hope that we share in this reality, death has no more power over us, we too will be raised.
So let’s keep celebrating! Let’s keep exploring the inexhaustible facets of the Paschal Mystery. Let’s grow in hope and build hope for others, hope in the resurrection, hope in that which has already begun in our midst.