Easter Thursday

Today’s readings

The time between Easter and Pentecost is often referred to as the period of Mystagogy. Mystagogy is a Greek word meaning “looking back on the mysteries.” It is a time of unpacking what we have just been through, and coming to see, with eyes enlightened by faith, the meaning of things we may never have noticed before.

The disciples in today’s Gospel reading are beginning that period of Mystagogy. They have seen the risen Lord, and now things they wondered about are all starting to make sense to them. Remember, they didn’t have the Gospels to guide them like we do; they had to live through all of this and it’s so clear from the readings of Lent and especially Holy Week that they were confounded by what Jesus was doing and what was happening to him. They were horrified and disillusioned and grieved by his death. But now, seeing him risen from the grave, they are beginning to make sense of it all. As the Gospel says today, “he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” and they came to see how the Scriptures applied to Jesus.

This is a special period for those we just received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. They will use this time of Mystagogy to grow in their new-found faith. It will be a time for them, too, to look back on the mysteries. They will reflect on their faith journey that began in childhood and eventually brought them here. They will reflect on the wonderful rites they have experienced, from the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens, to their Election by the Bishop early in Lent, to the Scrutinies we witnessed with them, all the way to their Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist on Holy Saturday night. They will see God at work in their lives and make sense of things they may have been confused about before.

But this Mystagogy isn’t just limited to the disciples and our Neophytes. We are all mystagogues. Mystagogy, I think, is a life-long process, and all of us, converts and cradle Catholics alike, spend the rest of our lives unpacking the mysteries, reflecting on our lives of faith, coming to see who Jesus is for us in whole new ways, appreciating more deeply the love and grace poured out on us every day. Every day is a new opportunity for Mystagogy, and an opportunity to exclaim with our Psalmist today, seeing the wonderful mysteries that have unfolded for us, “O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!”

Easter Monday

Today’s readings

Well, it wasn’t all that long ago that we saw the disciples scatter in fear, was it?  Here they had seen their friend arrested, tortured, and killed, so one could not blame them for running scared.  I’m sure I would have done no different if I had been them.

But in today’s first reading, we see them different.  They have witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, they have seen him alive.  More than that, they have been filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, that great gift he had promised them all along.  And so now they get it.  Now they realize what he had been saying to them, and now they have courage and fortitude to proclaim the Gospel.

“God raised this Jesus, of this we are all witnesses,” Peter says on their behalf.  They have entered into mystagogia … that time following a great event when those involved look back on what they have experienced, and come to new understandings based on those experiences.  Their mystagogia of the Easter event has given them fresh hope and courage, and has empowered them to proclaim the message.

Here at Notre Dame, we saw our brothers Jett, Jordan and Clinton baptized.  In addition, many were baptized into the Church and Christ Jesus throughout the world.  They are all experiencing mystagogia in these days.  They are looking back on their reception into full communion with us, and reflecting on what they have learned and how they have grown in their faith.  We cradle Catholics also experience mystagogia in these days.  Our baptisms are not as fresh in our minds as are the baptisms of our new brothers and sisters, but we recall with gratitude and profound joy the saving sacrifice that has given us hope of new life.  So we too, like the apostles, are empowered to proclaim the message.

God has raised this Jesus from the dead, and we are witnesses of these things, brothers and sisters in Christ.  Praise God!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Easter Monday

Today’s readings

Well, it wasn’t all that long ago that we saw the disciples scatter in fear, was it?  Here they had seen their friend arrested, tortured, and killed, so one could not blame them for running scared.  I’m sure I would have done no different if I had been them.

But in today’s first reading, we see them different.  They have witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, they have seen him alive.  More than that, they have been filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, that great gift he had promised them all along.  And so now they get it.  Now they realize what he had been saying to them, and now they have courage and fortitude to proclaim the Gospel.

“God raised this Jesus, of this we are all witnesses,” Peter says on their behalf.  They have entered into mystagogia … that time following a great event when those involved look back on what they have experienced, and come to new understandings based on those experiences.  Their mystagogia of the Easter event has given them fresh hope and courage, and has empowered them to proclaim the message.

Here at Notre Dame, we saw our sister Korrin baptized, and received our brother Brian into full communion with the Church.  In addition, many were baptized into the Church and Christ Jesus throughout the world.  They are all experiencing mystagogia in these days.  They are looking back on their reception into full communion with us, and reflecting on what they have learned and how they have grown in their faith.  We cradle Catholics also experience mystagogia in these days.  Our baptisms are not as fresh in our minds as are the baptisms of our new brothers and sisters, but we recall with gratitude and profound joy the saving sacrifice that has given us hope of new life.  So we too, like the apostles, are empowered to proclaim the message.

God has raised this Jesus from the dead, and we are witnesses of these things, brothers and sisters in Christ.  Praise God!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Easter Monday

Today’s readings

Well, it wasn’t all that long ago that we saw the disciples scatter in fear, was it?  Here they had seen their friend arrested, tortured, and killed, so one could not blame them for running scared.  I’m sure I would have done no different if I had been them.

But in today’s first reading, we see them different.  They have witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, they have seen him alive.  More than that, they have been filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, that great gift he had promised them all along.  And so now they get it.  Now they realize what he had been saying to them, and now they have courage and fortitude to proclaim the Gospel.

“God raised this Jesus, of this we are all witnesses,” Peter says on their behalf.  They have entered into mystagogia … that time following a great event when those involved look back on what they have experienced, and come to new understandings based on those experiences.  Their mystagogia of the Easter event has given them fresh hope and courage, and has empowered them to proclaim the message.

Our RCIA neophytes are experiencing mystagogia in these days.  They are looking back on their reception into full communion with us, and reflecting on what they have learned and how they have grown in their faith.  We cradle Catholics also experience mystagogia in these days.  Our baptisms are not as fresh in our minds as are the baptisms of our new brothers and sisters, but we recall with gratitude and profound joy the saving sacrifice that has given us hope of new life.  So we too, like the apostles, are empowered to proclaim the message.

God has raised this Jesus from the dead, and we are witnesses of these things, brothers and sisters in Christ.  Praise God!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Easter Thursday

Today’s readings

The time between Easter and Pentecost is often referred to as the period of Mystagogy. Mystagogy is a Greek word meaning “looking back on the mysteries.” It is a time of unpacking what we have just been through, and coming to see, with eyes enlightened by faith, the meaning of things we may never have noticed before.

The disciples in today’s Gospel reading are beginning that period of Mystagogy. They have seen the risen Lord, and now things they wondered about are all starting to make sense to them. Remember, they didn’t have the Gospels to guide them like we do; they had to live through all of this and it’s so clear from the readings of Lent and especially Holy Week that they were confounded by what Jesus was doing and what was happening to him. They were horrified and disillusioned and grieved by his death. But now, seeing him risen from the grave, they are beginning to make sense of it all. As the Gospel says today, “he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” and they came to see how the Scriptures applied to Jesus.

This is a special period for those we just received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. They will use this time of Mystagogy to grow in their new-found faith. It will be a time for them, too, to look back on the mysteries. They will reflect on their faith journey that began in childhood and eventually brought them here. They will reflect on the wonderful rites they have experienced, from the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens, to their Election by the Bishop early in Lent, to the Scrutinies we witnessed with them, all the way to their Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist on Holy Saturday night. They will see God at work in their lives and make sense of things they may have been confused about before.

But this Mystagogy isn’t just limited to the disciples and our Neophytes. We are all mystagogues. Mystagogy, I think, is a life-long process, and all of us, converts and cradle Catholics alike, spend the rest of our lives unpacking the mysteries, reflecting on our lives of faith, coming to see who Jesus is for us in whole new ways, appreciating more deeply the love and grace poured out on us every day. Every day is a new opportunity for Mystagogy, and an opportunity to exclaim with our Psalmist today, seeing the wonderful mysteries that have unfolded for us, “O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!”

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