May 2, 2019 — In the latest edition of the magazine Canadian Jesuits, Fr. Artur Suski, SJ published an article entitled “The Paschal Mystery As Seen Through Saint Paul’s Eyes.”
Born near the beginning of the 1st century of our era, Saint Paul is thought to have persecuted Christians before meeting the Resurrected Christ, converting and becoming an apostle. He wrote several letters, including 13 that can be found in the New Testament. According to F. Suski, these letters are “the oldest Christian writings,” since his first Epistle is thought to have been written 15 years before the first Gospel! A constant theme appears in nearly all of his writings: the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.
In order to explain this mystery, Saint Paul turned towards the Torah to understand Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and towards Greek Thought to interpret the reconciliation between God and humanity. He also uses “the Jewish notion of sin and the Hellenistic notion of ethics to establish the first true theology regarding holiness and sanctification.”
Fr. Suski considers how, according to Saint Paul, humanity went from being in a constant schism with God to a reconciliation with God through the offering of Christ’s life and at last, the hope of salvation.
Thus, this text invites us to reflect upon Easter, which is not only when we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, but every time humanity reconciles with God after having wandered away from Him. The text also underlines the richness of analysis that various traditions can provide, as shown through Saint Paul’s use of them.
You can read this text on p.11 of the Canadian Jesuits.