The Pascal Mystery

Born into human history in the fullness of time —for our salvation and the redemption of the world—Jesus lived, suffered, and died our death. And, God “raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand…, and has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:20, 22-23.) This is the Paschal Mystery for which the season of Lent prepares us, the mystery that Easter and the Great Fifty Days celebrate.

At the heart of the Christian faith and our life together is our entry into the life, teaching, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and Spirit-giving of Jesus Christ. Lent calls us to face in the direction toward which God’s embodied love looks. As the writer of John proclaims, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (1:14)

The Paschal Mystery points to inexhaustible the range of meanings found in the saving work of Christ and in the church’s participation in his life poured out into the world—into our lives, struggles, hopes and disappointments, sorrows and deepest joys. My favorite definition of the Christian liturgical year is “keeping time with Jesus.” Lent is a way of keeping time with the story that unfolds from Ash Wednesday through Easter to Pentecost: the journey from ashes to fire.

The Paschal Mystery embraces and sustains us on our way.


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