From home to community

From home to community…

“I will not leave you orphaned… I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.  This is the Spirit of truth.”

These words of Jesus envision His followers to become “church”, a people called out of darkness into His own wonderful light.

While the word ‘church’ commonly indicates a special building designated for worship, as in St Anthony’s, it also refers to a community.  The Second Vatican Council defines the Church as the People of God, who are constituted in Christ by the Holy Spirit.  The Latin term for church ‘ecclesia’ derives from the Greek which means ‘to call out of”.  It is a people set apart, a people called out to become God’s witnesses to the world..

The Church as an organized society existing in our world and history is a visible reality.  We call this the Church an institution, a hierarchy.  The Church is also spiritual reality that transcends our world and our history.   This is also referred to as the charismatic aspect of the Church.  The Church is a mystery and a sacrament.   It is a sign and instrument of a spiritual reality.  The Church as a sacrament contains within itself as well as communicates God’s power and presence.

Speaking of the Church as a parish: Pope John Paul II reminds us: “It is necessary that in the light of faith, all rediscover the true meaning of the parish, that is, the place where the very ‘mystery’ of church is present and at work…  The parish is not principally a structure, a territory or a building, but rather, ‘the family of God’, ‘a fellowship afire with a unifying spirit’, ‘a familial and welcoming home’, ‘a community of the faithful’.  Plainly and simply, the parish is founded on a theological reality because it is a Eucharistic community.”

The purpose of the Church is to make holy the members of Christ’s body through the love given by Christ.  By our baptism, we become part of the Church.  We share in God’s grace through the Church which is built on the foundation of Christ who is our way, the truth and the life.  We are the Church. The microcosm Church is our respective domestic Church, the family as Church.

During this time of pandemic with its lockdown protocol, the family as domestic Church is given the opportunity to witness more powerfully the presence and power of Spirit in our respective lives.  It calls upon us to live out our faith in our daily routine at home and our immediate neighborhood.

As we look forward to our in-person gathering with “flexibility”, let us share our togetherness at home with other families and individuals as we to encounter one another in Christ who works in our midst and to strengthen the bonds that tie us together as one people, sharing the one bread in the Eucharist and worshipping the one Lord of all.

We pray for health, healing and holiness.