Missio Dei and the Eucharistic Revival
On Mission for the Eucharist!
Dear Writers and Readers of Missio Dei,
I am excited about the launching of our new scripture reflections tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. The hope is that the writers of Missio Dei can provide content and insight for Catholics of varying interests. Our short reflections will give each reader an opportunity to engage the daily texts from the insights of our theologically trained writers who differ in their writing styles and theological concentrations will no doubt peel back the layers of Sacred Scripture for our readers.
In November of 2021, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a document titled The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church. In response, Missio Dei has put into motion in solidarity with the Bishops of the United States a Eucharistic Revival Project. The project will be a compilation book of essays on the Eucharist by the writers of Missio Dei exploring the Eucharist from varying topics like Sacred Scripture to the Saints to Pope Francis. The goal for Missio Dei from its more than qualified writers is to release this testimony to the Eucharist for readers on December 8th, 2022.
Why is the Eucharistic Revival important? The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church from Vatican II, Lumen Gentium reminds us of the universal call to holiness of all believers. Furthermore, LG 40 reminds each one of us of the primacy of grace, “The followers of Christ are called by God, not because of their works, but according to His own purpose and grace.” It’s important to note the ecclesiology of Lumen Gentium which expresses the idea of the Church—not particularly the institution of the Church—but instead by its mystical sacrificial character of “followers of Christ” who are joined in the body of Christ together by virtue of their baptism. Although the institution is important as the ordinary transmitter of grace; before one can be called to the baptismal font and before their will can move them to assent to the faith—each person by grace must confront the proclamation of the Gospel.
Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:14–15)
The Kingdom of God is at hand and Jesus Christ, in Himself, is the Kingdom of God. You who are burdened, tired, and weary God calls you to live a life of holiness. The life of holiness is not a burden—sin is the burden—because we cannot live this life without God’s grace. So, take upon His yoke! The dynamic of the Kingdom is one that is present in our lives by the coming of Jesus and continues in the present by the Holy Eucharist feeding the pilgrim church moving toward the eschaton of the Kingdom—moving toward the fullness of the Church in eternity.
Avery Cardinal Dulles reminds us, “In an adequate eschatological view of the Church, the theology of the word should be combined with a sacramental view and with an understanding of the mission of the Church to the larger human community.” (Dulles, Avery. Models of the Church, Image Classics, pp. 109-110)
The proclamation of the Gospel is in itself an eschatological event—it is the mission of the “followers of Christ.” The call of discipleship is a moment of discrimination, a choice of the love of thyself or the love of God. Let us continue to answer the call by proclaiming the salvation of Christ to every creature in the hope they may come to be saved by turning back toward God, being baptized, and sharing in the divine life by being spiritually fed by the most Holy Eucharist.