Synod of Bishops Document
EUCHARIST, CHURCH, AND MISSION
Here are some passages from the “Propositions” published at the end of the XI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 2-23, 2005
The Novelty of the Paschal Mystery When instituting the Eucharist, Jesus created a radical novelty: He fulfilled in Himself the new and eternal Covenant. Jesus inscribed, in the context of the Jewish ritual supper–which concentrates in the memorial of the past event of deliverance from Egypt, its present importance and future promise–His total surrender. The true immolated Lamb sacrificed Himself once and for all in the Paschal Mystery and is able to liberate man from sin and the darkness of death forever. […] This “great mystery” is celebrated in the liturgical forms that the Church, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, develops in time and space. In the celebration of the Eucharist, Jesus, substantially present, introduces us through His Spirit in the Pasch: We pass from death to life, from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy.
In it is revealed fully the mystery of the love of God for humanity and His plan of salvation is fulfilled, characterized by absolute gratitude, which responds solely to His promises, fulfilled beyond all measure. […] Under the Cross, the Most Holy Virgin unites herself completely to the Savior’s sacrificial gift. By her Immaculate Conception and fullness of grace, Mary inaugurates the participation of the Church in the Redeemer’s sacrifice.
The relationship between the Eucharist and the Church is understood in the great Christian tradition as constitutive of the being and acting of the Church herself, to the point that Christian antiquity designated with the same words, “Corpus Christi,” the body born of the Virgin Mary, the Eucharistic body and the ecclesial body of Christ. […] The term “catholic” expresses the universality stemming from the unity that the Eucharist, celebrated in each church, fosters and builds. Thus, in the Eucharist, the particular churches have, in the universal Church, the task of making visible their own unity and diversity. This bond of fraternal love reveals the Trinitarian communion. The councils and synods express in history this fraternal aspect of the Church.
In fact, the Eucharist is the source of mission. In the Eucharist, we become more and more disciples of Christ, listening to the Word of God, which leads us to a communitarian encounter with the Lord through the celebration of the memorial of His death and resurrection and through sacramental communion with Him. This Eucharistic encounter is realized in the Holy Spirit which transforms and sanctifies us. It reawakens in the disciple the firm will to announce boldly to others what he has heard and lived, in order to lead them to the same encounter with Christ. In this way, the disciple, sent by the Church, opens himself to a limitless mission.