Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
As the theme of World Mission Sunday this year clearly emphasizes "Eucharist and Mission" are inseparable. In addition to reflection on the bond that exists been the Eucharistic mystery and the mystery of the Church, this year there will be an eloquent reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, because of the occurrence of the 150th anniversary of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854-2004).
When we take part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we understand more profoundly the universality of redemption and, consequently, the urgency of the Church's mission with its program which "has its center in Christ Himself, Who is to be known, loved, and imitated, so that in Him we may live the life of the Trinity and with Him transform history ..." (Ecclesia de Eucharista, 60).
At the end of every Mass ..., all should feel they are sent as "missionaries of the Eucharist" to carry to every environment the great gift received. In fact, anyone who encounters Christ in the Eucharist cannot fail to proclaim through his or her life the merciful love of the Redeemer.
To live the Eucharist it is necessary ... to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day, drawing from it strength, consolation, and assistance ...
How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support?
To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are "experts" in the celebration, adoration, and contemplation of the Eucharist.
Nourished by Him [Christ], believers come to understand that the missionary task means being "acceptable as an offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit" (Rom 15:16), in order to be more and more "one, in heart and mind" (Acts 4:32) to be witnesses of His love to the ends of the earth.
Mary ... shows us and offers us Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6). If "the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 57).
(Source: Message for World Mission Sunday, issued April 19, 2004)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com