Easter SeasonApril 29th, 2013
The Lent-Easter Cycle in our Catholic liturgical year is my favorite time of that year. The liturgies are full of meaningful celebrations that focus on the challenges that life presents us. The Paschal Mystery, which we celebrate at this time, brings forward the deeper realities of our lives as persons, as communities, and as Christians. It reminds and makes present in the Eucharistic celebrations of this time our experience of God’s Love being among us in all the struggles, difficulties, joys, and ecstasy that arise in our daily experience.
One of the essentials I try to keep before me is that all of this is about a Loving God who is making every effort to share God’s Trinitarian life with our world. God didn’t simply send Jesus to die for us but sent him to bring the reign of God to a world that has a hard time understanding what this reign means and requires. God’s hope was that humanity and each of us humans could grasp, accept, and live this reign within the self and the community. And there were some who after much struggle did do so.
An analogy I use to explore this mystery for myself is the process of my wife and me sending our sons “into the world.” Each one was different with unique gifts and faults. The oldest was often reluctant to meet new challenges and had to be coaxed and encouraged to try the next step. The youngest was the opposite, jumping in sometimes without being careful enough and needed to be held back and questioned. But we knew that each of them had to get out there to share their wonderful gifts with our world. We knew that both joy and pain were going to be there for them. But we hoped and prayed that they would succeed and if not, we would always be there to love them through whatever happened.
I think that God the Father must made a similar choice (with much more Love and support than my wife and I were ever capable of) as God sent Jesus (and the Spirit) into our world. The Father knew the possible consequences as well as the great gifts that the choice to send the Son and Spirit would bring. God’s love demanded that risk because “God so loved the world.” It is this Love that brings us into our own and our community’s Paschal Mystery and because of that Love we are able to live in a world that both accepts and rejects what we have to offer. It is because of the celebration of Lent/Easter that both recalls and makes present that Love that I/we can live the Reign of God that is both here now and yet come in our future.