In this extended reflection on the Eucharist, Pope Benedict underlines the inseparable link between our eucharistic faith and Christian mission. Drawing together the conclusions of his fellow bishops, Benedict calls for a deeper consideration of the inherent mystery, unity, power and vital importance of the identifiable components of the Eucharist we celebrate.
Among many salient recommendations, he calls for a carefully prepared liturgy of the word, improved homilies, and Church buildings full of beauty, that echo with music that expresses the faith and love of the people of God. The Eucharist we celebrate and live impacts upon the quality of our Christian life, and so this text is recommended to all.
“The more lively the eucharistic faith of the People of God, the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples… Every great reform has in some way been linked to the rediscovery of belief in the Lord’s eucharistic presence among his people.” A liturgy, he concludes, that is full of beauty and unity, where the faithful can actively participate with their whole lives, will lead to a renewed missionary zeal, carrying the fruits of communion and belonging that we receive to the whole of our increasingly secular society.