Aparecida 350-352: Do Not Be Afraid!

In some quarters, there is nearly an expectation that people want to live apart from the Christian ideal and cling to the shadows. The Aparecida bishops seem to deny this:


350. Our peoples do not want to walk in the shadows of death; they hunger and thirst for life and happiness in Christ. They seek him as source of life. They yearn for this new life in God to which the disciple of the Lord is born by Baptism and is reborn by the sacrament of Reconciliation. They seek this life which is strengthened when it is confirmed by the Spirit of Jesus and when the disciples renew their covenant of love in Christ, with the Father and with their brothers and sisters at each eucharistic celebration. Accepting the Word of eternal life and nourished by the Bread that has come down from heaven, they want to live the fullness of love, and lead all to the encounter with Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

My own sense is that sometimes Christians have difficulty articulating a hunger for God, but Christ continues to draw people–even non-Catholics–to a sacramental life. Why? I think the tangible, incarnational experience is something deeply attractive to the human being who responds to God through experiences of the senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, etc..

Our response in life is sometimes imperfect:

351. However, in the exercise of our freedom we sometimes reject this new life (cf. Jn 5:40), or we do not persevere on the way (cf. Heb 3:12-14). Through sin, we choose a path of death. Hence, the proclamation of Jesus always calls to conversion, which makes us share in the triumph of the Risen One and begins a journey of transformation.

Good and encouraging words from the pope emeritus:

352. A very credible witness of holiness and commitment is expected of those who live in Christ. When we desire and seek this holiness we do not live less, but better, because when God asks for more, it is because he is offering much more: “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything.”(Benedict XVI, Homily at the inauguration of the pontificate, April 24, 2005)

Remember to reference an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference here.

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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