Jesus, the One Savior and Freedom of Worship
We take a look at “Jesus, the One Savior” and our “Freedom of Worship” this week from Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist (¶ 86-87). Our Holy Father is quick to point out that, “The more ardent the love for the Eucharist is in the hearts of the Christian people, the more clearly will they recognize the goal of all mission: to bring Christ to others.” The Eucharist always reminds us of the sacrifice Christ went through for us, to merit our salvation – that was His mission. He calls us to do the same thing, to continue His mission. To understand and comply with this undertaking, Pope Benedict stresses the importance of constant catechesis in order that we won’t fall into the notion that evangelizing is just a job that needs to be done, like going to work. A correct understanding of the Eucharist and always learning more and more about the mystery of the Blessed Sacrament deepens our relationship with Christ and gives our mission greater and more significant purpose.
Here in America we have been blessed with freedom to worship. In many countries throughout the world even going to church represents a heroic witness that can result in marginalization and violence. The Pope emeritus tells us that, “Wherever religious freedom is lacking, people lack the most meaningful freedom of all, since it is through faith the men and women express their deepest decision about the ultimate meaning of their lives.” We need to take advantage of our freedom and never take it for granted. Our Lord has given us a perfect arena here in America to spread the Good News. If we don’t use this opportunity it will be taken from us just as it has been slowly over the past decade. We must not allow anything to interfere with our call to mission, and we have all the necessary tools at our disposal. Let’s not miss the opportunity while we still have it.