By: Reynard Tubid
The Paschal mystery of Jesus is his suffering, death and resurrection. It is the recapitulation of the love of the Father through his only begotten son. When Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan his mission and call for service and intimate love started. His ministry was the witness how He became the living sacrifice for the human race. We receive the gift of vocation because He was the one who showed it first for all of us. As chosen children of God we have also mission in life, and this mission is deeply rooted with our vocation as children of God. Jesus suffered because of our sins. He offered his life as a ransom for many. He loved us not only in the beginning but until the end. His suffering clearly illustrates how He became the holocaust offered at the altar. Jesus in the presence of suffering shared to us the seed of vocation. This is a special call for service not only to Him but to His people as a whole. Suffering means love for Jesus. He did it not because it was a requirement of being a God but Jesus executed it out of love. It was the love that carried Him even into the cross. Suffering is a vocation in order to heed the call. It is in the suffering that we deepen ourselves and meditate upon the meaning of life that is directly given to all of us. After the painful suffering of Christ He experienced death. It was a death on a cross. Christ’s death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling Him to God through the blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Mt 26:28; cf. Ex. 24:8; Lev. 16: 15-16; 1Cor 11:25). The death of Jesus signifies His redemptive love for all of us. He took away the sins of the world. By dying He destroyed our death; by rising He restored our life. His death gathered us all in communion with God through the blood of covenant. When Jesus died we were not put to flight but we were placed in one community of redeemed persons. Our vocation as sons of God remains firm when we were saved into the condemnation of sins. It was in the community that we outgrown in faith and eventually decided to follow Him as the living example not only in word but also in deeds. The vocation to the priesthood finds its fulfillment when Jesus died. His death served as the cleansing act wherein the stain of sins was washed away. We became sharer of God’s suffering because we were renewed to new life. When Jesus died, the whole humanity became tranquil and observant of the occasion it figured out. But on the third day Jesus rose again. The resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ; a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the Christian community. Christ risen into the dead and to the dead He has given new life. This crowning glory of our faith testifies that Jesus was the true God an ever living God. Our faith became firm when Jesus fulfilled His promise on the third day. This rising of Jesus is an invitation for all of us to take the faith seriously. Our vocation as sons of God mirrors the faith we have. If we develop a sense of commitment in our relationship to the Lord, the more we are called to serve Him in different yet edifying ways. Faith in the resurrection has its object an event which attested by ourselves who encountered the Risen one. This is also the entry of Christ’s humanity into the glory of God. We have life because Jesus suffered, died on the cross and on the third day He arose again. In this event we are called to meditate on the love He has given us. We are being found because He loved us. Now, Jesus is calling us to unite with Him and to offer our life too by sharing ourselves to him in the priesthood. If you are called by God follow Him, do not be afraid, trust in Him and you will receive the necessary grace. The Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary is inviting you to fulfill that calling. If you want to confirm the calling of God, the seminary is very much willing to help you discern and decide for His plan. The Paschal mystery of Jesus is the concrete illustration of embracing the call not just for an alternative life but for the mission of Christ that is the priesthood.