Aparecida 278, Part 5: Forming for Mission

The last of five aspects:

e) Mission: As they get to know and love their Lord, disciples experience the need to share with others their joy at being sent, at going to the world to proclaim Jesus Christ, dead and risen, to make real the love and service in the person of the neediest, in short, to build the Kingdom of God. Mission is inseparable from discipleship, and hence it must not be understood as a stage subsequent to formation, although it is carried out in different ways, depending on one’s own vocation and on the moment in human and Christian maturation at which the person stands.

Let’s not ignore the importance of the connection between community and this joy at being sent on mission. I can’t comprehend how a person working alone could maintain a positive approach, let alone joy, without the assistance of others.

It’s also important to recognize the use of the word “formation,” not education. Disciples aren’t educated as much as they experience a transformation of life. A parallel: the marriage relationship. People can’t really be educated into married life. Fruitful marriages achieve a formation: the community of two, plus influences and guidance from family, ministers, mentors, and peers.

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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