Easter is a season of 50 days. We need time to grasp and soak in the reality of the resurrection. During this season, we enter into "mystagogia." This word means "led into the mystery." We continue to journey with the newly baptized and those who have come into full communion with the people of God at the Easter Vigil. We too are led into the mystery of life in Christ.
I remember watching a Billy Graham crusade on TV. The words of Jesus in today’s Gospel were on a huge banner as a backdrop to the stage. "I am the way, the truth and the life." Jesus is certainly the way to heaven, but he is also the way for us right now. When we talk about mystagogia, we are really referring to the way of discipleship. Before the early disciples were called "Christian" they were called "the way."
I saw an interview with the rock star "Slash." He said that rock and roll is the way of life for him, it comes with a personality and has a lifestyle. For us, it is not rock, our culture or sports, but Jesus who is our way of life. His way is our lifestyle. As we learn and grow we develop a Spirit-filled personality. Discipleship is really a journey where we give more and more of ourselves to Jesus. The way of discipleship includes discipline, worship and passion. Jesus’ way isn’t the only way in our world, but his is the way to the peace he offers in today’s Gospel. Mystagogia is not only a time when we learn about discipleship, but strive to live it.
As I live this lifestyle of worship, I am struck over and over again by the reading we have each Saturday morning during the liturgy of the hours. It is apropos for any who would live the Christian lifestyle and follow Jesus’ way: "None of us lives as his/her own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as his servants. Both in life and death we are the Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living." (Rom. 14:7-9)
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P. is a missionary preacher, author of 12 books and creator of the TV program Live with Passion! airing in many cities. You can learn more about his ministry at: http://www.frcedric.org/