"Zeal for Your house consumes Me." —John 2:17
The Greek word for "church" means "called out." The Church is the gathering of people Jesus has chosen out from this world (Jn 15:19). Jesus founded the Church in the shadow of the worldly city, Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:13). He implied the Church would begin attacking the gates of hell by storming the gates of the worldly city (Mt 16:18).
We live in the world geographically; spiritually, however, we are at war with the world (Jn 17:15). We are not of the world any more than Jesus belongs to the world (Jn 17:16). Therefore, the world hates us. It crucified Jesus and will try to kill us as well. So the Church, because it is "called out," is both an army and a shelter. The Church is where God rallies, rests, teaches, and nourishes His troops.
We are a community, a "koinonia," "a sharing in common" (see Acts 2:42). We don't have much in common with the world. Jesus has set us free from all that. But with the brothers and sisters in our church community, we have in common the lifesaving experience of personal relationship with Jesus and the empowerment by the Holy Spirit. Is this original meaning of church still in effect in your life?
Prayer: Jesus, may I join Your Church not just officially but in spirit.
Promise: "No one can lay a foundation other than the one that has been laid, namely Jesus Christ." —1 Cor 3:11
Praise: Alleluia! Jesus is the Cornerstone, and the Church is His pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tm 3:15). Praise our Lord forever!
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 12, 2017
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