The mystery among us

I am always amused when at Christmas and Easter so many people say, “This is of course your busy time of the year.” I am amused because for me it is not. I celebrate the liturgies, prepare many homilies, but I never see it as busy. I see it as an incredible privilege to be with God’s people and to celebrate together, to remember what God is doing among us.

I have always been fascinated by the words of St Paul to the Colossians; “The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory.” (Col 1: 27) Whatever we come together to celebrate, Christmas, Easter, Ordinary Sundays of the Year, Solemnities of Christ, Feasts of Our Lady, the Apostles, the Saints, whatever it is Christ is among us and we are remembering.

All liturgical prayer is an act of remembering. Specifically, for us Christians, this prayer remembers Christ’s saving mystery, the paschal Mystery. As mystery Christ’s saving act can never be exhausted. The wonderful thing about it is that over time, as the years go by and we celebrate another Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday we simply delve deeper and deeper into its richness and meaning. We come to understand the paschal mystery as Jesus’ passing through death to risen life. It’s true, it is that, but the mystery is much deeper and broader. The paschal mystery is not only about Christ, it is also about us.

St Paul makes it abundantly clear that at baptism we are plunged into what we call the paschal mystery (which actually doesn’t begin with Jesus death, but with His Incarnation). “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into this death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into his death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so too we might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6: 3-4)

Over the coming days we will celebrate and remember the mystery of Jesus Christ passing from death to life. It is our mystery too. This mystery describes how we live from day to day as disciples of Jesus. This is who we are and how we are to live as faithful followers of Christ. It means that we

We need to ask ourselves every day, probably several times a day: “Am I living through Him and with Him and In Him.”  When we can say from time to time “Yes, I am living through Him and with Him and In Him,” then we know “The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory.” (Col 1: 27).

+ John