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All Issues > Volume 14, Issue 6


<< Monday, November 9, 1998 >> Dedication of St. John Lateran
 
1 Maccabees 4:52-59
1 Corinthians 3:9-13, 16-17

View Readings
Psalm 84
John 2:13-22

Similar Reflections
 

RECONSTRUCTING THE CHURCH

 
"I laid a foundation as a wise master-builder might do, and now someone else is building upon it. Everyone, however, must be careful how he builds." —1 Corinthians 3:10
 

At Pentecost, the Church began as a network of small, home-based communities. "They devoted themselves to the apostles' instruction and the communal life" (Acts 2:42). These communities were something like the way Jesus lived with His disciples and twelve apostles. These small, home-based communities were united with the other small, Christian communities in their region and became city-churches, such as Corinth, Rome, Jerusalem, etc. These city-churches were united by the universal Church with other regional networks of communities. In the early 300s, several small, home-based communities in Rome united with other Christian communities. For these communities to come together regularly, the forerunner of the first parish church was built, the church of John Lateran, named after John the Baptist and the Lateran family who donated the land. Thus, a parish was originally a small network of small communities.

Parishes have changed over the centuries. Some of these changes have been good, but it is important that a parish be true to its roots. It must be essentially a small network of small Christian communities. However, the parish has not only developed but has essentially changed in much of the Western world. The parish has lost its roots, and the parish, the infra-structure of the Church, has fallen apart. Therefore, "it is necessary that in light of the faith all rediscover the true meaning of the parish" (Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 26). Love the Church (Eph 5:25). Reconstruct it.

 
Prayer: Father, may small, home-based, Christian "communities decentralize and organize the parish" (The Mission of the Redeemer, Pope John Paul II, 51).
Promise: "Zeal for Your house consumes me." —Jn 2:17
Praise: "How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord!" (Ps 84:2)
 
 
 
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 4, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1998
 
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Donations appeal letter - please read
 
Volume 14, Issue 6
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