10/09/2004, 00.00
VATICAN - YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
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Eucharist and mission are inseparable

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – For John Paul II, "the Eucharist and mission are inseparable realities" and "there is no authentic celebration and adoration of the Eucharist that does not lead to mission". A day after the release of Mane nobiscum Domine (Stay with us, Lord), the pontiff reiterated the concept that is fundamental for him. He did so before hundreds of youth who came to Rome for the mission of youth among youth entitled "Jesus in the centre" and the meeting of European Eucharistic Adoration youth groups.

"Eucharist and mission are inseparable realities," the Pope stressed since as the Apostle Paul said: "[f]or as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes." (1 Cor: 11, 26).

The Eucharist commemorates in fact Jesus' offer of redemption to the Father that humanity may be saved. Through the sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus "does" the Eucharist, i.e. he gives thanks to the Father. This mystery means that all of us join Christ to give thanks to the Father, not some much through words but by connecting our lives to His."

"Therefore," the Pope said, "there is no authentic celebration and adoration of the Eucharist that does not lead to mission. And mission presupposes another essential eucharistic trait, namely the union of hearts." He added that "the mission you are celebrating these days in Rome is an example of communion of many lay youth groups from the Diocese of Rome with priests, religious men and women, seminarians."

"Since you shared in planning and organising these events such experiences will leave a deep impression not only yourself but also on the youth you meet in the streets, hospitals and churches."

The Pope had stressed the inseparable link between the Eucharist and mission in the document presented yesterday. He said the Eucharist –i.e. the participation of the "person of Jesus"– must have different outcomes. First outcome must be the sense of mission. "Once the resurrection of Christ is experienced, it cannot remain a private joy"; it must be announced and shared. "It is especially urgent to do so in our secularised culture that forgets God and believes in humanity's hollow self-sufficiency". For this reason, we must not be afraid to speak about God.

As he did yesterday, the Pope told the youth to adore the Eucharist. He did so by talking about his own experiences. "I commend," he said, "my memories to the Lord during the celebration of the mass and the adoration of the Eucharist which I have constantly done since my youth. You should know that I have not drawn great value from it for myself alone, but also for all those Divine mercy has put in my care". (FP)

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