Everybody loves a mystery. At Mass, we enter into the mystery of our faith and we know that the mysteries of God are always before us, waiting to be noticed, pondered, unfolded and celebrated. Mystagogy, a Greek word meaning “the uncovering of mystery,” encompasses the whole of our faith journey from birth to death. In the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) initiation into the Christian community means living in a state of permanent mystery. But how do families get involved in living in the light of mystagogy? Try on these ideas as a family to live mystagogy daily:
- Take notice. As a family, go outside for a walk. Nature, and particularly now that it is spring, is a feast for the senses. Notice the scents surrounding you. Are they different in the morning than the evening? Do you hear any birds chirping? Can you detect which bird is making the sound? Count the many shades of green that surround you. Take off your shoes and go barefoot. Take all of the ways we sense in and “learn to savor how good the Lord is.”(Psalm 34:9) How do these experiences speak to you of the mystery of God’s love?
- Be Wonder-full. You know the wonder in children on Christmas morning, or as they await the celebration of their birthday, or as they simply ask many questions, the wondering of the hows and whys of life. Wondering has the potential to bring new insights and sensations. Wonder with your child about why there are so many kinds of flowers, appreciating their uniqueness. Wonder with each other about how the apostles felt when they heard the news that Jesus had risen. Wonder what it must have been like for Jesus at his resurrection. If wondering is an art form, then wondering about the mysteries that surround our faith adds color to the picture yet to be defined. As a family, be curious about something every day.
- Bequest the Quest. Seekers come in all ages, shapes and sizes. We are never done pondering why things happen when they do, what is the meaning, not only of life, but of a particular event, both those filled with joy and sorrow. We are always searching, sometimes asking the questions that are unanswerable. We ask for God’s help, intervention, or solace when life becomes hard. We serve our children well when we can explain to them that sometimes our questions will not have answers. The answer that is clear to us is that God is always with us, and to bask in that love sometimes is our only response. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
- Give Play a Chance. Celebrating life doesn’t always have to be well-planned, just well-intentioned. Playing comes naturally for children. Observe your children play, and enter into the scene. Sing, dance, do whatever brings you the freedom to live more fully. Be silly. Be spontaneous. Be joyful. Forget the burdens of life, even just for a few moments. “Cast all your worries upon God because God cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Living in the light of mystagogy doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is real; it is in this living we draw closer to the presence of Christ, Risen among us.