God's Generous Love, the Paschal Mystery

by Sr. Joanne Suranni
Wed, Apr 24th 2019 10:00 am

From the moment that God pronounced the words, "Let there be light," a perpetual spring of generosity has inundated the world. God set the energy of his self-donating love and divine revelation in motion.  During the magnificent Easter Vigil Liturgy, the story of God's generosity will once again be proclaimed from the creation of the world to the resurrection of Christ. The Sacred Triduum followed by Easter and its glorious continuation for 50 days give the faithful a magnificent opportunity to ponder and savor God's tremendous generosity.   

Rather than remain hidden from all that He loved, God fashioned a plan from the beginning of time to reveal Himself to the world.  As God slowly revealed His face to sinful humanity He consistently demonstrated unfailing generosity, benevolently gifting a world tainted by sin.  In the fullness of time, God ordained that the ultimate act of generosity, the crucifixion and death of Christ would once and for all ransom humanity from sin.

Upon closer reflection, the supreme act of Christ's death on the cross is surrounded by other incomparable acts of love. On the night before he died, during Jesus' celebration of his Last Supper with the apostles, he gave humanity a lasting memorial of his presence among us.  The institution of the Eucharist is one of the ways in which Christ's promise to remain with us is fulfilled.  Every Eucharist is an experience of God's self-giving love and incredible generosity.  

On Good Friday, Jesus trod the path to Calvary, a journey of immense suffering which culminated with his death on the cross.  Perhaps Jesus' death on the cross on Good Friday more profoundly illustrates God's generosity than any other action.  St. John's Gospel reminds us, "No one has greater love than to lay down his life for another." (Jn. 15:13).  When Jesus laid down his life for us, he expressed the complete self-giving love of God in human form so that humanity would "get it."

Following the ultimate act of love on the cross, God continued to pour out generous love raising Christ from the dead Easter Sunday morning.  In the resurrection moment, the love of the Father brought Jesus to life, signifying God's triumph over sin, evil and death thrusting open the gates of heaven.  God whose love is completely generous once again renewed the covenant with his people by the promise of eternal life.

God continued to speak through revelation with the Ascension of Christ and the promise of the Holy Spirit.  With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the Easter mystery was complete.  Through the power of unconditional love, God gifted his people with his own Spirit, the essence of who he is which is the fullness of love.

The Easter mysteries speak God's generosity to a world in need of peace, healing and love.  In the entirety of the Paschal Mystery, God invites us to receive all that He gives, and then to go out into our broken and to be the self-giving love of God.  

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