the assemblies of god
"We should not absent ourselves from the assembly, as some do." —Hebrews 10:25
When we assemble with other Christians, we:
- "encourage one another" (Heb 10:25),
- "rouse each other to love and good deeds" (Heb 10:24),
- experience Jesus' presence in a special way (see Mt 18:20),
- pray with greater power and fruitfulness (see Mt 18:19),
- experience more fully the gifts of the Spirit (see 1 Cor 12:7),
- prepare for Jesus' final coming (see Heb 10:25), and
- strengthen one another (Eccl 4:12).
Because the Lord works so gloriously when Christians assemble, He commands us in His word not to absent ourselves from the assembly (Heb 10:25). The Catholic Church echoes this command by holding us responsible under pain of sin to fulfill our Sunday and Holy Day obligations to celebrate Mass on these days (see Catechism, 2181). Because it's so important for Christians to assemble, we should ask the Lord how often we should celebrate Mass in addition to Sundays and Holy Days, participate in other communal prayer services, and pray together at home as a family. The Lord is likely calling many of us to join with others in small Christian communities. To be spiritually healthy, Christians need to assemble several times a week at church and home.
Prayer: Father, may I come together frequently with other Christians, especially when I don't feel like it.
Promise: "Listen carefully to what you hear. In the measure you give you shall receive, and more besides." —Mk 4:24
Praise: Jane credits her home-based community with helping her to stay faithful and focused on God.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape What is Christian Community? on audio AV 76-1 or video V-76.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008
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