For the faithful who have understood the meaning of what they have done, the Eucharistic celebration does not stop at the church door. Like the first witnesses of the Resurrection, Christians who gather each Sunday to experience and proclaim the presence of the Risen Lord are called to evangelize and bear witness in their daily lives. Once the assembly disperses, Christ’s disciples return to their everyday surroundings with the commitment to make their whole life a gift, a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God.


Thanks to the Eucharist, the love that springs up within us becomes deeper and grows stronger. Eucharistic worship is therefore precisely the expression of that love which is the authentic and deepest characteristic of the Christian vocation. This worship springs from the love and serves the love to which we are all called in Jesus Christ.


The authentic sense of the Eucharist becomes the school of active love for our neighbor. We know that this is the true and full order of love that the Lord has taught us: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” The Eucharist educates us to this love in a deeper way: it shows us, in fact, what value each person, our brother or sister, has in God’s eyes, if Christ offers Himself equally to each one, under the species of bread and wine. If our Eucharistic worship is authentic, it must make us grow in awareness of the dignity of each person. The awareness of that dignity becomes the deepest motive of our relationship with our neighbor.

We must also become particularly sensitive to all human suffering and misery, to all injustice and wrong, and seek the way to redress them effectively. Let us learn to discover with respect the truth about that inner self that becomes the dwelling place of God in the Eucharist. Christ comes into the hearts of our brothers and sisters and visits their consciences.

How the image of each and every one changes when we become aware of this reality. This sense of the Eucharistic mystery leads us to a love for our neighbor, to a love for every human being.

Continue to “On the Family” or see the full list of excerpts.

from Go In Peace, by John Paul II