Sunday, May 8, 2011

Living the Paschal Mystery in Our Daily LIfe

A Catholic Times columnist recounts an incident that happened recently on a shopping trip to a market with his family. He told the children he would buy them the toys they wanted. But one of the children would not part with the toy when they arrived at the cashier counter to pay for them.

The older girl had no problem in giving the cashier her toy so she could see the bar code, but the younger son would not part with his no matter how they tried to convince him. They finally had to lift him onto the counter where the cashier could take the reading.

The child was afraid the toy would be taken away from him, prompting the father to reflect on his own problem in this area. To give up something we have now for something better is not always easy. Jesus, from the beginning of his life, gave up everything to become one with us. Kenosis is a word we often hear that expresses this emptiness. It is a prerequisite for us to be filled with God's gifts.

The columnist tells us that the Greeks have three important elements that teach them about life. The first is the railroad station where they learn there is a last station. Secondly, the ocean reminds them that there is a world out there bigger than the one we know.  Thirdly, when they see flowing water it reminds them not to get attached to things of this world.

He wants us to reflect on whether we are holding on to something too tightly. It could be my experience, my management of life, my knowledge, my record and results. We should practice, he says, putting them down. This should be our habitual practice to make a place for what God wants to give us.

In this season of Easter, living the  Paschal Mystery again becomes the perspective with which all is seen.  We have the example of our Korean ancestors in the faith who did not fear death but hoped for a new beginning. This is the rhythm of the Christian life. The mystery of all mysteries: to die so we can live. No Easter without  Good Friday. We die daily, practicing for the last death that is the transition to a new life, getting  rid of something so we can grow to greater maturity. This is the life Jesus showed us, and we renew it in every Mass we attend. This is the way of metanoia, this is the way of freedom and joy.

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