Pope Francis Address to CELAM 4: Attending To The Encounter With Christ

Pope Francis mentions the Aparecida document in his address to his brother bishops of Latin America.

Aparecida is a treasure yet to be fully exploited.  I am certain that each of you has seen how its richness has taken root in the Churches you hold in your hearts.  Like the first disciples sent forth by Jesus on mission, we too can recount with enthusiasm all that we have accomplished (cf. Mk 6:30).

Let’s remember the thrust of Aparecdia was the reinvigoration of missionary discipleship. Another caution: not to be focused on groundbreaking events and gatherings of the past as singular events now gone and celebrated only in memorial. Vatican II is a living, changing legacy–a point missed by many who see it only in terms of a legal document:

Nonetheless, we have to be attentive.  The essential things in life and in the Church are never written in stone, but remain a living legacy.  It is all too easy to turn them into memories and anniversaries to be celebrated: fifty years since Medellín, twenty since Ecclesia in America, ten since Aparecida!  Something more is required: by cherishing the richness of this patrimony (pater/munus) and allowing it to flourish, we exercise the munus of our episcopal paternity towards the Church in our continent.

So, what is the point? That cultivation of a personal relationship with Christ:

As you well know, the renewed awareness born of an encounter with the living Christ requires that his disciples foster their relationship with him; otherwise, the face of the Lord is obscured, the mission is weakened, pastoral conversion falters.  To pray and to foster our relationship with him: these are the most essential and urgent activities to be carried out in our pastoral mission.

 

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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