Aparecida 243: The Encounter With Jesus Christ

Three numbered sections (through #245) introduce what the incarnation, public ministry, Passion, and Resurrection of the Lord really means. The Aparecida bishops write of The encounter with Jesus Christ. This is essential to get to the importance of the concept of discipleship and how this needs to revolutionize how Christians–especially Catholics–view their place in the Gospel mission.

243. The Christ-event is therefore the beginning of this new subject emerging in history that we call “disciple”:

Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.

This is precisely what all the gospels have preserved, while presenting it differently, as the beginning of Christianity: a faith encounter with the person of Jesus. (cf. Jn 1:35-39).

The coming of Christ signaled a new way of relating to God. Israel’s experience of One God certainly prepared human beings for this. There is an important progression as we read the Old Testament from a God to be feared in natural cataclysms to a personal God one finds in quiet and stillness. Also from a God of a chosen people to a God who embraces the entire world–indeed, the whole universe. Horizons have shifted, and if we are slow to cast our gaze beyond what we have known, to look deeper where our God invites, it cannot be said to be God’s fault. We are called to a new way of relating not only to the Living God, but in how we encounter others, and draw them to their own companionship with Jesus. More tomorrow.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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