The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

RCIA & Adult Faith Formation: My Sacrifice and Yours – Teaching the Baptismal Priesthood

Authored by Lucas Pollice in Issue #9.2 of Catechetical Review

One of the challenges of the period of mystagogy in the RCIA is what exactly the content of this post-baptismal catechesis should be. The rite itself gives some direction when it states:

The neophytes are, as the term “mystagogy” suggests, introduced into a fuller and more effective understanding of the mysteries through the Gospel message they have learned and above all through their experience of the sacraments they have received. . . . Out of this experience, which belongs to Christians and increases as it is lived, they derive a new perception of the faith, of the Church, and of the world.[1]

Following this direction from the rite, mystagogical catechesis should help the neophytes understand and more fully live out their newfound identity and mission in Christ that they have received through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. In addition, the teaching of Vatican II and its postconciliar implementation have put a central emphasis on how, through Baptism, the faithful share in the mission of Christ as priest, prophet, and king. This mystagogical catechesis is not only important for those going through RCIA but for all adult Catholics, as most have yet to be exposed to this central truth of the identity and mission of the laity.

Even more timely, the eucharistic revival in the United States provides an opportunity to teach this threefold mission of Christ with a particular emphasis on the baptismal priesthood. The proper understanding of the baptismal priesthood is not only critical to truly understanding the faithful’s participation in the liturgy but is a crucial part of a true eucharistic revival. It is this understanding that will help neophytes (and all Catholics) to see how their sharing in the priesthood of Christ in the Eucharist is the source and summit of their mission and identity in Christ.

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting [email protected]

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