What is the Paschal Mystery?

A Resurrectionist Vocation Minute for March 17, 5th Sunday of Lent

What is the Paschal Mystery? 

Sometimes in the Gospels we need a little background to understand what Jesus is saying, because he was often speaking to a Jewish audience already familiar with their covenant relationship with God, and the stories, references and images associated with that relationship.

But in today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to a non-Jewish audience – Greeks who were present for the festival – using natural imagery that anyone can understand.  And what he was speaking about was his coming passion, death, and resurrection:

“Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  The person who loves their life loses it, and the person who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”   

Today in the Church, we call this the Paschal Mystery. 

The Paschal Mystery is not just a Christian metaphor for natural cycles of death and life, or psychological processes of crisis and resolution.  The Paschal Mystery is a personal invitation from the Risen Lord to experience the power of his resurrection, no matter what your vocation – marriage, consecrated life, priesthood, single life in the world.  To enter the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection as we find it in our daily life, and to be raised up to new life and share it with others.

“Since the Congregation is dedicated to the Lord's paschal mystery, it strives to live the new life and hope of this mystery in every phase of its apostolic life, so that the religious achieve their own resurrection and that of society.”

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