"rebuild my church"
"Jesus said to him: 'Today salvation has come to this house.' —Luke 19:9
For the first three-hundred years of Christianity, the Church met in homes (see Rm 16:5). Then, after the Roman Emperor Constantine stopped the persecution of the Church, he built the first church building in the Western world on land owned by the Laterini family. This church eventually was dedicated to St. John the Baptist and was called the Basilica of St. John Lateran. This parish church was built to help the home churches be more deeply united with each other and the universal Church. Thus, the parish church was originally intended to serve the home churches. The parish is a community of communities (see Church in America, Pope John Paul II, 41).
Is your parish church made up of small communities? Does your parish primarily serve small Christian communities or individuals? Is it a primary goal of your parish to develop leaders of small communities? The parish, like everything else, can be effective in doing what God designed it to do but not when doing something other than that.
Today is a day for parishes to decide to get back to their roots and do what God made them to do. Today is a day of reestablishing the home as a church community. Today we can rebuild the Church. Today we can love the Church as Christ loved her and gave His life for her (Eph 5:25).
Prayer: Father, call me to rebuild the Church, as You called St. Francis of Assisi.
Promise: "Everyone, however, must be careful how he builds. No one can lay a foundation other than the one that has been laid, namely Jesus Christ." —1 Cor 3:10-11
Praise: St. John Lateran, known as the mother church of Christendom, was named after St. John, about whom Jesus said: "History has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer" (Mt 11:11).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001