Thursday, June 19, 2014
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
June 22, 2014
Pope Francis has been repeating that fear, doubt, and lack of boldness can block at its roots the impulse to renewal that the Church needs today. In his exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, he even says that if we remain paralyzed by fear, we may once again "become mere onlookers as the Church gradually stagnates."
His words make us think. What can we see among us? Are we mobilizing to revive the faith of our Christian communities or are we still settled in that "fruitless stagnation" Francis is talking about? How can we find the strength to react?
One of the great contributions of the Council was promoting the movement from the "Mass" understood as an individual obligation to fulfill a sacred precept to the "Eucharist" experienced as a joyful celebration of the whole community to nourish its faith, grow in brotherhood, and rekindle its hope in Christ.
Certainly, we have made great strides over the years. Long past are those Latin Masses in which the priest "said" Mass and Christian people came to "hear" the Mass and "attend" the celebration. But are we not celebrating the Eucharist in a routine and boring way?
There is one undeniable fact. People are moving away unstoppably from Sunday practice because they don't find in our celebrations the atmosphere, clear language, expressive rites and stimulating welcome they need to feed their weak and wavering faith.
Surely, all of us -- pastors and believers -- have to ask what we're doing so that the Eucharist might be, as the Council wished, "the source and summit of Christian life." But is the good will of the parishes or the isolated creativity of some enough without other renewal yardsticks?
The Lord's Supper is too important for us to let it go on "being missed," as "onlookers" upon "fruitless stagnation." Isn't the Eucharist the center of Christian life? How can the hierarchy stay so quiet and still? Why don't we believers show our concern and grief more strongly?
The problem is serious. Should we go on "mired" in a kind of Eucharistic celebration that holds so little attraction for men and women today? Is the liturgy that we've been repeating for centuries the one that can best help us make current Jesus' memorable supper where the core of our faith is wonderfully concentrated?