Monday, April 16, 2012

Celebrating the Paschal Mystery

How did you spend Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday? I had the privilege of celebrating this sacred time at the Mound. I led a retreat entitled: “Graced by the Paschal Mystery: Dwelling in the Sacredness of the Triduum.” Six people came together, 4 women and 2 men. We truly bonded the first afternoon when we gathered. Perhaps we connected because we all had a common desire to go deeper into the meaning of these sacred events in Jesus’ life.

The symbols each day pointed the way to what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We began with the water, basin, and towel and pondered foot washing and service. On Good Friday the central symbol was the cross. We placed ourselves in John’s passion narrative and united our prayers for the suffering people of our world. On Saturday we entered into the reality of the empty tomb that was transformed into the great mystery of the resurrection, celebrated in darkness and light, story and song, water and commitment.

Celebrating with the Dominican community and guests who came to Sinsinawa enriched the retreat. How moving it was to experience the washing of feet, the reverential adoration of the cross, and the utter joy of the Easter Vigil.

Through prayer, ritual, song, lectio divina, centering prayer, contemplation, and walking the magnificent Sinsinawa landscape, the power of the Paschal Mystery was tangibly alive in us.

All Christians now celebrate the greatest mystery of our faith for 50 days. Alleluia!

Mary T. Johnson, OP
Westchester, Illinois

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