The Paschal Mystery is the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He suffered, died, and was buried, on the third day he rose again from the dead. Jesus Christ in his humanity felt the pain and suffering of the human body as well as the mental anguish of the abandonment of his father. He commended his spirit to God and physically died. He was dead. Then he conquered death and rose from the dead. He came back in a resurrected form not fully human, but not a spirit either. The disciples did not recognize him until Jesus opened their eyes. It took the passion and death for the resurrection to occur. Jesus had to suffer and die first before new life could happen for him and the rest of humanity.
Each of us has experienced a paschal mystery of sorts. We have suffered through pain and torment, only to lose a part of our identity, a relationship, or even a loved one. Only long after the suffering and the realism of the death can we start to live in a new way, to be resurrected to a new life in Christ. Each of us has had that time in our lives when we have suffered and died to our own wanting to become a new person. Moms do it often. No one wants to get up half asleep and aid a child while he vomits and then clean it up. No one really wants to suffer through an illness but still take care of another person. No one wants to put the needs of others before the needs of self, but moms do it daily. When a mom’s love becomes completely selfless a new identity dawns, a resurrection, of a nurturing and loving mother. Don’t get me wrong a mom should always take care of her own needs as well. If a mom doesn’t care for herself she cannot selflessly love a child. Moms must recuperate and then care for the child and live out that resurrection.
When have you suffered? When have you died to a dream, identity, or selfish way of life, only to rise later to a better way of life? That is your small “p” paschal mystery. Embrace it and let it endure!