National Eucharistic Revival aims to form disciples on mission with new Easter series

A priest raised the chalice and Communion host in this file photo. The National Eucharistic Revival announced the release of a special mystagogy series of weekly catechetical reflections throughout Easter season. The series is called an invitation to all Catholics to go “deeper into mysteries of Christ by reflecting on truth, goodness and beauty of the Mass.” (OSV News Photo/CNS file by Bob Roller)

WASHINGTON — The National Eucharistic Revival announced it will release what it called the “first-of-its-kind” mystagogy series of weekly catechetical reflections throughout the Easter season to “invite all Catholics deeper into the mysteries of Christ by reflecting on the truth, goodness and beauty of the Mass,” according to a news release.

“Mystagogy” is an intentional deepening of a disciple of Jesus Christ’s understanding of the faith following the reception of the sacraments. The term also refers to the period between Easter and Pentecost, following a new Catholic’s reception into the church at the Easter Vigil, where he or she reflects more deeply on the sacraments and this new life of following Christ.

The new series, titled “Beautiful Light: A Paschal Mystagogy,” is being offered through the Heart of the Revival Newsletter, a weekly publication of the National Eucharistic Revival, which was established in June 2022 to provide resources to reaffirm and deepen the Eucharistic faith of Catholics across the country.

It begins April 13, the Thursday before Divine Mercy Sunday, and runs through May 25, which is the Thursday before Pentecost.

Seven prominent Catholics are writing articles for the series: Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis; Sister Maria Miguel Wright of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist; biblical scholar and author Jeff Cavins; Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle; Canadian priest and author Father Harrison Ayre; Kately Javier, coordinator for Adult Formation and Hispanic catechesis for the Washington Archdiocese; and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The newsletter (accessed at eucharisticrevival.org/heart-of-the-revival-newsletter) offers various resources, videos, stories and reflections from voices in every corner of the church. It also is a channel to communicate events, special announcements and highlights from grassroots developments throughout the United States in support of the National Eucharistic Revival.

“Whether you are just joining the church at Easter Vigil this year or have been Catholic your entire life, this series is for you,” said Sister Alicia Torres, a Franciscan of the Eucharist of Chicago, who is a National Eucharistic Revival executive team member.

“Each and every one of us is not a static being — we grow and develop. So, too, does our faith,” she said in a March 20 statement announcing the new series.

“At every age and stage of life, Jesus invites us to discover the joy of friendship with him. For Catholics, this happens in a most special way during Mass — ‘the source and summit of the Christian life,’ ” Sister Alicia said. “Many of us haven’t had the chance to really explore the beauty and mystery God invites us into at Mass. That is the goal of ‘Beautiful Light’: to give every Catholic a chance to go deeper this Easter season.”

Often associated with the Order (formerly Rite) of Christian Initiation for Adults, or OCIA, “mystagogy” comes from the Greek word meaning “to lead through the mysteries.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes mystagogy as a “liturgical catechesis that aims to initiate people into the mystery of Christ” (CCC 1075).

In a Feb. 14, 2019, address Pope Francis said, “Mystagogy: this is a suitable way to enter the mystery of the liturgy, in the living encounter with the crucified and risen Lord. Mystagogy means discovering the new life we have received in the people of God through the Sacraments, and continually rediscovering the beauty of renewing it.”

“The National Eucharistic Revival involves an intentional effort to both evangelize and catechize, predicated on the long-standing Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ — His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity — in the Eucharist,” Archbishop Thompson, who is the author of the first reflection in the “Beautiful Light” series, said in a statement.

“Rooted in the invitation to a personal encounter with Jesus, every baptized person is called to a life of holiness and mission as a missionary disciple in Him,” he said. “This mystagogy series provides a special opportunity to link our Catholic faith in the Eucharist with the daily lived experience of Christian witness and service to others.”

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is the host of the upcoming 2024 National Eucharistic Congress, the culmination of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival.

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