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.