Last week we learned that the four marks of the Catholic Church are One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic; those familiar words we pray in the Creed. Did you give any time to thinking about how you can be part of the Church’s mission to bring all into ONE union with Jesus Christ? Who have you invited to know Jesus, our Savior?
If I asked ten people if they would describe themselves as HOLY I believe the number who would answer yes would be small. It seems that rather than profess ourselves as HOLY, we might think of ourselves and all people as being in the process of becoming HOLY. Our Church is made up of sinners who strive to become more Christ-like, to become HOLY. This is sometimes hard to understand because we do profess in our Creed that the Church is Holy – how can that be if it is made up of sinners?
“The Church is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as ‘alone holy,’ loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for he so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. The Church then, is “the holy People of God,” and her members are called saints.” (CCC.823)
We, as a Church are HOLY because Jesus took the Church of God as ONE and HOLY. However, as individual members of the Church and of the Body of Christ, we are indeed in the process of becoming HOLY and are incredibly blessed with the capacity to become perfectly HOLY like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We must strive throughout our lives to love as God loves, to care for one another without judgement and prejudice, to pray for one another in an effort to help others to attain holiness.
You may gain holiness when:
· You invite the stranger with a few items at the grocery store to step ahead of your full cart.
· You prepare a favorite meal for your family or help a child with homework.
· You assist a co-worker so they can leave early to get to their son’s baseball game.
· You attend Mass and receive the sacraments often.
· You teach your grandchild a prayer or forgive your child for lying to you.
· You join in the Walk for MS or host your daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.
· You donate your time, talent and treasure at church or school or for a civic event.
· You show appreciation to your employees or greet them with a smile.
· You acknowledge that all you have comes from God and you thank Him daily in prayer.
You see, it is in doing every day, ordinary acts of love and kindness and faithfulness that we become HOLY. Baptized into the life of Jesus Christ and committed to loving God and others, we grow more HOLY each and every day. We indeed have the capacity to become saints as we work to become perfectly HOLY as is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May God bless us all with the desire to do so.
With hope in the Lord,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC