"We are God's co-workers, while you are His cultivation, His building." —1 Corinthians 3:9
St. John Lateran was one of the first parish churches. For the first three-hundred years of Christianity, there was no such thing as a parish church, since Christians met in their homes for worship, teaching, and fellowship (see Rm 16:4-5). However, as individual Christians need a community of other Christians, so individual home-churches need a community of other home-churches.
Because of persecution or the lack of a large enough facility, it was impossible for home-churches to get together with each other. After the persecution had subsided, the Holy Spirit inspired the home-churches of Rome to construct a building where a community of communities could gather. This was St. John Lateran.
This movement of the Holy Spirit teaches us that:
- The home can be a church.
- Home-churches should be the building blocks from which the larger, universal Church is to be constructed.
- The Church is not primarily an institution but a community of communities, a family of families.
- The Church is to be one, that is, united (Eph 4:4).
- The Lord gives leaders to the Church to promote our unity through the use of their authority.
Because today's feast day tells us about the Church, it tells us about God's plan of salvation, what life is all about, how to be happy, and how to be pleasing to God. Learn Church, be Church, and love the Church (Eph 5:25).
Prayer: Father, may I make my home a center for Christian community, or may I join someone else's home-based community.
Promise: "Zeal for Your house consumes me." —Jn 2:17
Praise: St. John the Baptizer received the Holy Spirit as a six-month old fetus.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013
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