Fr Kenvin’s Column 4/11/2021

Dear friends of God,

This weekend we continue to enter into the Easter Mystery. In our Catholic Tradition, we do not think of the word ‘mystery’ like we do a ‘who dunnit,’ and we don’t use the word ‘mystery’ in a way that is ‘a cop out’ for a moment when we cannot answer a question of faith. We refer to Jesus’ death, Resurrection and Ascension as the Paschal Mystery. Paschal reminds us that Jesus has passed from this life to fullness with the Father. We believe that he has taken each of us with him. He came for the benefit of all of humanity and even all of creation.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Paschal Mystery is described in these ways:

Christ’s work of redemption accomplished principally by his Passion, death, resurrection, and glorious ascension, whereby “dying he destroyed our death, rising he restored our life” (1067; cf. 654). The paschal mystery is celebrated and made present in the liturgy of the Church, and its saving effects are communicated through the sacraments (1076), especially the Eucharist, which renews the paschal sacrifice of Christ as the sacrifice offered by the Church (571, 1362–1372).

Every time we gather for the Eucharist, we enter into the Paschal Mystery. In some way that is beyond our imagining, we are celebrating the Eucharist with Christ 2,000 years ago, we are in the present moment here in our church, and also celebrating the Eucharist in the fullness of God in Heaven. That is the mystery of life with God after the death and resurrection of the Lord.

During Mass, in the Eucharistic prayer we pray one of these as the Mystery of Faith:

  1. We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your resurrection until you come again.
  2. When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come
  3. Save us, Savior of the world, for by yourcross and resurrection you have set us free.
 
Right now, the third option is my favorite: the idea that God has come to save us. So often, Jesus is saving us from ourselves. It is in God’s unconditional love that we enter into the true freedom that comes to us from our love of God and love of our neighbor.

 

As followers of Jesus, we are invited by God to “contemplate” the mystery of God’s infinite love for each of us as uniquely and a love for our whole world. To contemplate is to enter into God’s temple of love within our hearts as well as in heaven. God is continually basking us in his love. To contemplate is to open our hearts and eyes to be more and more aware of this love

and our call to enter into that love. Fr. Iain Matthew shared this insight in this way: “To be a contemplative is to be a watch in the night for the approach of Mystery. And it is a readiness to be transformed in an engagement with that Mystery.” To say it another way, the mystery of God that we are called to by Jesus’ death and resurrection, is transformed love and conscious love: love of God and love of our neighbor.

Fr. Malcolm Guite is an Anglican priest in England and a poet.  I would like to end this Second Sunday of Easter column with this lovely sonnet for Easter Dawn. It touched my heart as I read it on Easter morning, and I hope that it touches yours as well. It delves beautifully into the mystery that is Easter.

He blesses every love which weeps and grieves
and now he blesses hers who stood and wept
and would not be consoled, or leave her love’s
last touching place, but watched as low light crept
up from the east. A sound behind her stirs
a scatter of bright birdsong through the air.
She turns, but cannot focus through her tears,
or recognize the Gardener standing there.
She hardly hears his gentle question ‘Why,
why are you weeping?’, or sees the play of light
that brightens as she chokes out her reply‘They took my love away, my day is night’
and then she hears her name, she hears Love saythe Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.
 
Easter peace to each of you!
 
Much Love
 
Fr. Kevin