Aparecida 251: A Privileged Place

251. The Eucharist is the privileged place of the disciple’s encounter with Jesus Christ. With this sacrament, Jesus attracts us to himself and makes us enter into his dynamism toward God and toward neighbor. There is a close connection between the three dimensions of the Christian vocation: believing, celebrating, and living the mystery of Jesus Christ, so that Christian existence truly acquires a eucharistic form.

This aligns with my understanding of discipleship as described by evangelists both with and outside of the Roman Catholic tradition. Through evangelization, a seeker comes to initial faith–belief in God. (Something a bit beyond the acknowledgement of God.) Liturgy involves the gathering with other believers, and from there comes the inspiration to live as Jesus lived. When believers live as Jesus lived, they shoulder his mission and thus become true disciples.

In each Eucharist, Christians celebrate and take on the paschal mystery by participating in it. Therefore the faithful must live their faith in the centrality of the paschal mystery of Christ through the Eucharist, so that their whole life is increasingly eucharistic life. The Eucharist, inexhaustible source of the Christian vocation, is at the same time inextinguishable source of missionary drive. In it the Holy Spirit strengthens the identity of disciples, and awakens in them the firm intention of boldly proclaiming to others what they have heard and lived.


Certainly the Holy Spirit can impart grace to disciples and inspire them to live the mission of the Gospel, even outside of liturgy. As the liturgy makes the Paschal Mystery clear and present, there is ample opportunity for grace.

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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