25 September 2007. Tuesday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time
Ezra 6, 7-8. 12, 14-20 and Luke 8, 19-21 Building the Church
There are basically two meanings of the word, church. The Scriptures today gives us these two connotations: as a building or structure for public worship and as a body of believers.
The first point is the church is the small c: the reading from the Book of Ezra is about the rebuilding of the
It is easier to bring people together for a specific mission and cause when there is a place to congregate, meet and organize activities. That is why an office, a tambayan, a practice venue is essential in the existence of an organization. This place also provides the environment in which the shared ideals, values, goals are nurtured and maintained.
The second point is the Church is the big C: The Gospel today is about the body of believers. Jesus emphasized that whoever hears the Word of God and acts on it is family to him. The body of believers is united with a common belief and a shared history. The Catholic Church traces its roots to the original Christian community founded by Jesus and his apostles. This body of believers in Jesus is first of all diverse: it is made up of one Western or Latin church (Roman Catholic Church) and 22 Eastern Catholic autonomous churches (eg. Coptic, Ethiopian, Armenian, Antiochian or West Syrian, etc.). Though diverse, we all look to the Pope and the
But what makes us truly united is not so much the organizational structure and the statistics of today, but the common love and belief in Jesus. In life, our consanguinity (of the same blood, ancestor or origin) does not necessarily make us one. Case in point: our friends know us better --- they know our secrets which our family does not necessary have. The Gospel tells us the core of our union with Him: when we listen to the Word of God and act on it. It is not only about knowing our faith, but living what we believe in.
The governing body such as the
*this is the Parish of St. John the Baptist. I was baptized here. My vocation grew as I served my town as the organist in church when I was in high school. The smaller picture is the interior of the church in Camalig, Albay. You can see the paintings on the ceiling: the seven sacraments, articles of faith, the four evangelists on the dome, etc. They were visual catechism for many of the faithful.