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The Paschal Mystery

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Editor’s note: DCSC member Amanda Saunders reflects on the nature of the Paschal Mystery and how this process penetrates into our own daily lives.

           Passion and death…“the loss of life”

           Resurrection…“the reception of new life”

           Ascension…“the refusal to cling, as ascending beyond the old life”

           Pentecost…“the reception of new spirit for the new life”

From the beginning of the Triduum until the end of the Easter season on Pentecost Sunday, we read and reflect on the narrative of Jesus’ passion, death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. However, the Easter season is not the only time we witness and experience this process of dying to new life. Each of us goes through our own little Paschal Mysteries frequently, constantly, even daily—in our own everyday life.

Letting go and receiving. Dying and living.

It is a natural process, one even the seasons give example of. Summer is a time for trees to be bright green, flowers to be in a beautiful bloom, and there is a blanket of vitality covering nature.Then the fall comes, and everything begins to change and slowly starts dying. When the winter comes, the trees and flowers have died, and it feels like it may never be warm again. And then spring comes, bringing new life to the trees and plants.

There are times of suffering and sin in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives. These temptations and sins can bring us to a realization of the fact that something needs to change within us. We need to let go of that part of our present life that leads us to hate, isolation, and sin, to die. In surrendering our needs and failings, we open up a space for God to work in us. Only then can we resurrect a new spirit, and start to combat our temptations and to safeguard ourselves from sin. That new resurrected spirit will allow us to ascend beyond our old life and fully receive this new spirit God breathes into us for a new life.

During this Easter season, I challenge you to reflect on the things in your own life. What may be causing you spiritual, personal, or professional suffering?

Let that sin die away. Open yourself to a resurrection of spirit. Let God bring you an ascension into a new life.

Reflection Question: what parts of your life need God’s grace to be resurrected?

With a passion for service and Franciscan spirituality, Amanda Saunders joined DC Service Corps in June 2016. Having served on short-term immersion trips herself, she brought this excitement to her role as Programs Associate. Originally from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, Amanda graduated from Neumann University, studying Theology, Psychology, and Youth Ministry within a liberal arts program. She is now the Director of Campus Ministry at Bishop MacNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland.