In my Catholic Morality class I am teaching my students how to apply the Paschal Mystery to their own lives. I did not know what the Paschal Mystery was until about ten years ago on my first Koinonia Retreat. It is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ physically died so that each of us could live an eternal life in heaven with him. In other words, if we are to live out the Paschal Mystery through our own life then we must die to our own wants and needs so that others may live. That is an unbelievably difficult idea to teach within a self- absorbed culture.
Yesterday I showed a short video of Maximilian Kolbe a Catholic Priest who was martyred during WWII in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He willing sacrificed his life for the life of another prisoner, knowing he would die a painful death of starvation. Obviously Maximilian understood the Paschal Mystery and lived it out in many ways, ultimately through his death. I do not expect my students to be martyrs, although we have discussed it, so how can they live out the Paschal Mystery with their own lives? I placed them in groups where they first discussed the video with discussion questions and then they had to create an example of how they could die to themselves today to live for someone else. I wrote down each of their responses and told them I would hold them to it and check in with them tomorrow. I can’t wait to see if they were able to complete their small tasks for others.
Today, think about what you can do for someone in your life, something specific that you can do before the end of the day. Something that you will die to so that someone else can live. Some of my student’s examples were to help their parents with the dishes, dinner or laundry. Another volunteered to help some of his fellow students with a difficult AP Biology assignment. Still another committed to complimenting ten different people today. What will you do to live out the Paschal Mystery today?