Pope Francis leads Benediction as he celebrates Mass marking the feast of Corpus Christi in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this June 14, 2020, file photo. CNS PHOTO/VATICAN MEDIA
At every Mass, we are sent on a mission!
BY DR. JEFF ANDRINI, OFFICE OF EVANGELIZATION AND DISCIPLESHIP
As we prepare to celebrate the National Eucharistic Revival in parishes across the diocese beginning in June, let’s start with the goal in mind. The goal is fostering a greater understanding that receiving Jesus – body, blood, soul and divinity in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and through the Liturgy of the Word – we are transformed and sent on mission!
In Bishop Medley’s homily at the Chrism Mass last month, he reiterated the words of dismissal from Mass and challenged all 78 parishes represented at the gathering to be on mission to serve others. The final dismissal from Mass is “Ite, missa est” translated, “The Mass is ended, go in peace.” Pope Benedict XVI personally offered three other endings in October 2008 following a two-year study. First, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord;” second, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life;” or third, “Go in peace.” The “go” in each of these statements is a mission mandate! It is an action to go out into the world and witness to what we have just celebrated and received.
Whether you can explain transubstantiation or not, there can be no doubt that Jesus is present and feeds us in the Eucharist. St. Irenaeus in the first century offered “Just as the bread which comes from the earth, have received the invocation of God, is no longer ordinary bread, the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, having received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, because they have the hope of the resurrection.” When you receive the gift of the Eucharist, dwell on the fact that God loves you enough to provide for your spiritual growth and strength for your life’s journey. God gives you “bread from heaven” to strengthen you, heal you and sends you out on mission.
Reflect on your own personal mission. We all have a mission in our lives. Just as our checkbook reveals our personal priorities, where we spend our time and mental energy reveals our mission.
As Catholics, the paradigm shift we are being called to make as a Church is that each of us has a role to play in the mission. We cannot leave the mission to our priests and lay pastoral ministers. Rather, each of us by virtue of our baptism is called to be priest, prophet, and king. We are called to go into all the places our daily lives take us and to proclaim by the witness of our lives that we have found abundant life in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the fruits of the Spirit must be evident in our lives. If we are not changed in our reception of the Eucharist, we are missing something.
Let’s grow together as the Body of Christ during this Eucharistic Revival. Check out an Acts 2:42 Small Group in your parish or find more information at: https://owensborodiocese.org/acts242/
Dr. Jeff Andrini is the director of the Office of Evangelization and Discipleship and can be reached at [email protected].
Originally printed in the May 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.