The Jewish people centered their lives around Temple, synagogue, and home. In 70 AD, the Temple was destroyed by the Roman army. In 85 AD, Jewish Christians were expelled from the synagogues (see Jn 16:2). Since both the Jews and Romans were persecuting the Christians, the Christians could not meet in a large public place. The home was the only possible meeting place. Christianity centered around the home.
Possibly that is why Lydia, the first convert of the western world, extended the invitation: "If you are convinced that I believe in the Lord, come and stay at my house" (Acts 16:15). In their homes, they broke bread, that is, celebrated the Eucharist, the Last Supper (Acts 2:46). Churches as we know them were not in existence till the fourth century. Homes were churches, the only churches.
Although history and persecution seemed to dictate this, church homes may have been the perfect will of God, or at least He certainly made them "work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28). Even to the present day, church homes are places of evangelization, power, healing, and blessing. Christianity begins at home. During this Easter season, ask Jesus to raise your family from the death of modern society into the life of a "church home."
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2006 through May 31, 2006.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005.