Aparecida 548: The Need For A New Pentecost

A few themes are recalled here. First, the suggestion that the Church is mostly in a waiting phase. We have lost the impulse for evangelization. We no longer trust the message of the Gospel can sustain that first century effectiveness. We are satisfied with a sacrament-only Church–if that.

548. This Fifth Conference, recalling the command to go and make disciples (cf. Mt 28:20), wishes to awaken the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean toward a missionary impulse. We cannot let this hour of grace slip by. We need a new Pentecost!

Even in North America, we think little of the effort to get out of our building and find other people. We are focused on maintenance, rather than mission:

We need to go out to meet individuals, families, communities, and peoples to communicate to them, and share the gift of encounter with Christ, who has filled our lives with “meaning,” truth and love, joy and hope! We cannot passively and calmly wait in our church buildings, but we must move out in all directions to proclaim that evil and death do not have the last word, that love is stronger, that we have been liberated and saved by the Lord’s paschal victory in history, that He calls us into Church, and wants to multiply the number of his disciples and missionaries in building his Kingdom in our continent.

A word on Aeropagus:

We are witnesses and missionaries: in large cities and the countryside, in the mountains and jungles of our Americas, in all the areas of shared social life, in the most varied “Aeropagus” settings of the public life of nations, in the extreme situations of existence, assuming ad gentes our concern for the Church’s universal mission.

Remember that the reference is to the center of public discourse in ancient Athens. Our place in the public discourse is not always immediately effective, but our presence is still needed.

For deeper examination, check 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.

1 Response to Aparecida 548: The Need For A New Pentecost

  1. Liam says:

    In my immediate family, I am the single remnant active Catholic. Among all of my large network (40+) of good friends, over 90% were born or became Catholic, I can count only one other very active Catholic and two others who retain regular practice within Catholicism but at some emotional remove. In fact, my continued practice vexed some friends so much that their vexation became expressed in a litmus test or ridicule: to which I responded that, when they were willing to take responsibility for my eternal soul, they were welcome to a vote concerning my choice for its destination, but otherwise they were way out of bounds (a response that surprised them, it seems, but no one took up the offer, is it were). I am matter of fact about my faith practice, and share when my sharing is welcomed, but I do not preach unbidden to them who have made a choice to walk away.

    At Pentecost and on the Areopagus, Christian disciples didn’t have the baggage of many centuries of bad to evil Christian witness to contend with. (They also didn’t have some wonderful things also developed during those centuries.)

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