Don’t Just GO to Church – BE Church

Did you go to Church today (or attend virtually – that still counts!)?  Perhaps an even better question is, WERE you Church today to those that are in need?  Remember that the Church isn’t just a place of worship.  It’s the place where you are in this world.

Why?

The Church isn’t a building.  The Church is the people of God.  When we are dismissed from Mass, we are like that one loaf of bread that is broken apart and shared with the world.  Together, we are Church; apart, we must be signs of love to those whom we meet, and to those who are put in our path…even those who aren’t very nice to us, or even hate us.  And we are STILL Church!  Jesus told us to “Love your enemies, and pray for your persecutors.”  So why don’t we do it?

Jesus asked his disciples who He was.  Simon says, “You are the Christ,” and Jesus gives him a new name, “Peter,” the rock upon which He will build His Church (and in the same way that it’s not the building, it’s not just the heirarchical governance structure associated with it).  So, while “rock” is something that offers a sturdy foundation, remember that Jesus also calls Peter “Satan” later in the Gospel.  The translation of “satan” is “obstacle,” which can also be – yep, you got it – a rock.  Think of the times rocks have been present in our lives – in our shoes to impede our travel; in the ground to make planting difficult; on our roads so spinning tires can hurl them at our windshields; and, in our hands to hurl at others, or throw at those who are trying to keep order in nations across the globe.

As we think about this week’s evangelization idea, consider what kind of a rock we (as Church) are:  Are we the obstacles for others, or are we the solid foundations upon which we can uphold our brothers and sisters?  When we talk about our faith, are we arrogant about it?  Do we “fight hate,” (which is strange, since fighting is usually a biproduct of hate), or do we “teach love?”   Perhaps this is a good day to examine just what kind of rocks we are personally too.  Are we those who are firm in our faith, and can speak about it with clarity and passion, or are we simply stumbling blocks, doing what we’re doing because it’s what we were told to do, and continue to do out of fear rather than “because it’s what we’re called to do” out of love and thankfulness?

To paraphrase the words attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, do we preach the Gospel always, and only use words when necessary, so that others can witness our faith in action?  Or, to use the words of today’s youth, “Do we rock?”

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