>> “I like Christ….but not the Church…”
>> “I don’t like the Church which has decayed today into only being an institution…”.
>> “I believe in my own way. I don’t need to go to Church and have someone tell me what to believe…”
>> “The Church is a bunch of hypocrites who like to only brag about their grand old traditions and heritages…”
>> “The Church is just not an exciting place to suit my rocking life & it’s too boring to be in tune with my cool lifestyle!”
These are hard-hitting and rough words that often emerge in opposition to the Church…
>> Perhaps some of us may also agree with those statements or are sadly, even advocates of the same….
The word “Church” is often a stumbling block for many…
>> There’s something which makes to feel uncomfortable!
Today we celebrate the Feast of the “See of St Peter” (Chair of St Peter).
>> This Feast celebrates Christ choosing St Peter to “sit” in authority as the visible leader of the Church on earth.
The Gospel of the Day presents to us the Faith Statement of Peter, the leader of the band of the Apostles and Jesus declaring to him that, “…on this rock, I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it!” (Mt 16:18)
The Great Rock..entrusts to Peter, the rock and assures Him that the Church will always stay rock-grounded!
The Lord had and still has.. great Faith and Trust in His Church…..
>> But, personally, we need to ask: Am I still shaky regarding the Church?
Let’s get to some of the Basics of the Church.
The word “Church”….in Greek…is Ekklesia.
>> Ekklesia can be split to two words… “ek” = out of + “kaleo” = to call
This gives us an important meaning of EKKLESIA – THE CHURCH…. TO BE CALLED OUT OF….
>> The Church is a body….to be called out of the world…
… into being a Family and Fellowship in God!
>> The Church is a body…to be called out of materialistic and worldly gains…
… .and be a sign of hope and salvation!
This gives us a clue to many aspects of the Church…and which will help our own understanding…
>> The Church is not a mere building… the Church is the People of God.
We reduce the Church in our everyday vocabulary to a mere building made of stones and cement..
But, the Church is made of living stones (1 Pet 2:5)
>> And all of us need to contribute our mite in keeping alive this Church of God.
>> Do I give my share of talents and gifts to the Church is keeping it effective and relevant for our modern times?
>> Do I make sacrifices and offer prayers for the Church so that she may stand strong in the midst of struggles?
>> Do I promote and encourage the teachings of the Church and find beauty and wisdom in them?
Perhaps one reason we find ourselves in a cribbing position, with respect to the Church is because of our failure to understand its nature and also have our own misunderstandings and prejudices…
When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who am I” (Mt 16: 13) he got varied answers…
… some surprising
… some unexpected
>> The Mystery of Jesus was so great…
… people failed to grasp who actually He was…
>> The Mystery of the Church is also great…
… that people fail to understand her and even form opposing opinions!
We may feel that the Church is too traditional and too conservative and too authoritarian…
>> But we fail to see that she has preserved much morals…kept safe human values..and promoted holiness
We may feel that the Church is all too mistaken in many areas and has committed many blunders…
>> But we ought to know that the Church has a human dimension and despite it, the Spirit of the Lord leads
We may feel that the Church is just too bad with scandals and hypocrites and has lost all credibility…
>> But we need to realize that the evil one attacks those who strive for sanctity and tries to disrupt God’s plans
>> The Church undergoes the pain of many a misunderstandings…
… Christ too underwent the same.
>> The Church suffers the bad name of being called by many names….
… Christ too underwent the same.
From a negative aspect, What is a Hospital?
>> Diseases, Blood, Pus, Screaming, Pains, Twisted bodies, Suffering..
But from a Positive Aspect, What is a Hospital?
Care, Healing, Love, Solace, Relief, Aid, Selfless Service….
Our Church can be understood in similar tones…
Weaknesses are plenty…yet, when seen from a Divine perspective, she is Holy!
All of us are concerned about the growing rejection of Church and Christian values in our society…
>> But we who are Baptized…and who seek the good of the Church, ought to join our hands and seek to revive the relevance and importance of the Church.
>> The Church has its weaknesses…
… but the Church needs Powerful Persons… in You and Me!
>> The Church has its negatives…
… but the Church needs Passionate Lovers of God… in You and Me!
>> The Church has its flaws…
… but the Church needs Committed Preachers of the Word… in You and Me!
The Body of Christ while hanging on the Cross was weak ….but “No bone of His was broken” (Jn 19:36)
>> The Church of Christ while living in the world maybe weak….but No bone shall be broken!
“…on this rock, I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it!”
Let The Great Rock help us to stand firm and become passionate in service of the Church!
God Bless! Live Jesus!