Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Paschal Mystery

What are some of the things in life that I wish were different? A priest writing in the Kyeongyang magazine, often at Masses, starts off his sermons with a question. He did  this recently asking the congregation what they would like not to have been in their life. Some answered they had no problem with what they experienced. He is not too bright, he responded, and better discontinue his sermon, and with a smile continued.

He mentions the third year in high school when he was preparing for college entrance: he was on automatic pilot during the year, and living in a prison.  Each year when the students are going  through this period he remembers them in his prayers.

In Korea all males have to spend two years in the military, this is another period of his life that he would like not to have been. He had no opportunity of going to Mass for 6 months, and no vacation, not only physically cold but the atmosphere, and environment was cold.

When he received his first assignment as pastor two of his parishioners drowned in the Sewol Tragedy. One of the students was the leader of the altar boys, and was dreaming of becoming a  priest, loved by all in the Sunday School program. He would like to have that whole chapter erased from history-- none of the children would have gone on-board the ship to Jejudo.

After the tragedy the  priest feeling low, decided to take a vacation in the country. He spent time with the wild flowers and the butterflies that came to visit. It all begins with an egg, becoming a caterpillar, at which time it will shed its skin four or  more times-- molting. Stage three is the chrysalis or the pupa, and from here it flutters its wings and becomes a butterfly. And lives for about a month and dies.

He was angry when he went on vacation but seeing nature it made him reflect on the will of God. Endurance is built into nature. We are all invited to  accept death as a part of life, and to think of life and  resurrection. After all its struggle to go from an egg to a butterfly, the caterpillar with its short span of life does not complain. Jesus walked that very journey and left us an example. Holy Week will give us plenty of time to reflect on this central teaching of Christianity.

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