Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Christ and the Church are one

Friday night Adoration: All are invited to spend a few minutes at least with Jesus this Friday in the SAA Church from 7-8 pm.
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An anonymous blogger wrote recently, "I was wondering one thing. What do we say to anti-Catholics who think our relgion is from an evil entity?" While it is a very broad question, I appreciate you asking it here. First of all, I would need to know the person or group to whom I'm speaking. What is their background with faith? In what church do they worship? What do they know about the Catholic Church? These and other critical factors are things that I find out about those who are being critical of the Church.

I can give a few general points that could be used, and used effectively. First, I would point out how some people viewed the person of Christ. Specifically, some people called Christ himself evil. "This man drives out demons only by the power of Beezebul, the prince of demons" (Mt 12:24). They continually called him a liar and blasphemer, and wanted to kill him long before Good Friday. We see in Jesus' passion and death that many of the people surrounding him thought that he was so evil that he must be crucified (punishment for only the worst crimes in ancient times).

Next, I would say that Christ promised similar treatment for those in the Church. "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first" (Jn 15:18). The Apostles especially experienced this because they continued to perfom the works of Christ (forgive sins, cast out demons, e.g.) and teach as He taught. So, all of them (except John) received the same treatment as Christ: they were hated and put to death.

Also, I would remind those to whom I'm speaking that what we say about the Church, we say about Christ. Christ and the Church are one; Christ is the head, the Church is the body (see Col 1:24, Eph 5). St Paul even says in Ephesians 5 that Christ is one with the Church as a husband is one with his wife. "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church" (v.25). The Church is the visible sign of Christ on Earth.

Finally, the living tradition of the Church shows a living tradition of love. For 2000 years, there have been numerous examples of devout men and women who faithfully lived according to the precepts of the Church. They lived heroic virtue; we call them saints. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta is a great example. Here was a woman who believed and lived everything that the Church teaches. She lived heroic love that the world has never seen. Yet, some called her a phony. Some called her evil...just like Jesus.

At the heart of Christ is Love. At the heart of the Church is Love. At the heart of the saints is Love. Anyone who says differently doesn't know what (or Who) Love is.

2 Comments:

At 12:36 AM, Blogger Mark Melvin said...

Thank you for shining Christ's light. Those who wish to follow his example can learn a lot about our own faith through questions generated from other faiths, both Christian and otherwise. This forum is very helpful to identify the questions that stir within us all.
Great job Fr Greg

 
At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear Hear!

 

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