THE CHURCH by YDisciple
Be the Church
By Amanda Hinson
Names have meanings. Often, people with similar names share common traits. The Bible is full of examples of names being important. People's names were changed when they were called by God to do something specific. Jesus’ name means “God saves.” His name speaks to the mission of His life-- to save us from our sins and bring us to everlasting life.
In our previous studies, we talked about how the Church is not a building but rather a community. We are Church, we are Christ’s Body. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. How can we live up to that name "The Body of Christ"?
Pray with me:
“Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” —St. Teresa of Avila
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”
—1 Corinthians 12:12-20
Watch the 13-minute video with Sr. Miriam Heidland on Formed.org.
Think about this:
Edith Stein (pictured above) sincerely pursued truth and read many books by Christian intellectuals. However, it was not until she read the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila that she came to faith in Jesus. What do you think it was about the autobiography that was diﬀerent from the other books about Christianity she had read?
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The saints are the greatest lovers in the history of the world. They grow so close to Jesus and have such a profound experience of the love of God that His love spills over from their life into the lives of others. People are drawn to this love.
St. Teresa (pictured right) wrote about her powerful experiences in prayer and the love of God overﬂowing from her life, and this grabbed the heart of Edith Stein. The life of St. Teresa removed all her doubts. The beautiful part of the story is that Edith grew to know and love Jesus like St. Teresa of Avila—and she also was canonized a saint.
There is a saying that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” How does this relate to what we are talking about?
- People encounter the love of Jesus through His followers.
- We are His hands and feet.
- God has designed it that we would ﬁrst come to experience His love through our parents. Sadly, this does not always happen.
- However, Jesus has called His Church to go out into the world and love people just as they are. If they know how much we care for them, they are more likely to be open to our faith.
Is there someone, either a saint or another historical ﬁgure or someone living today, whose love for Jesus and heroic generosity has inspired you? Tell us about him or her!
John Wooden is one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. He took a struggling UCLA basketball program to ten national championships in twelve years. He didn’t have the most talented or tallest players, but they were exceptional as a team. Wooden told his players: “We don’t have to be superstars or win championships…All we have to do is learn to rise to every occasion, give our best eﬀort, and make those around us better as we do it.”.
How can this quote be applied to the Church? In our baptism we became the Body of Christ. We’re a team. God has given us all diﬀerent gifts with the intention of them being used on the team, and it is only as a part of the team that our gifts reach their potential and bear fruit.
Bottom line: We accomplish far more as a team. It takes humility and maturity to understand this and live it.
“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.”
|Francis developed a deep love for the outcasts of society, and by serving them he saw that he was serving Jesus. For example, one day he came upon a leper and embraced him even though he had a dreadful fear of leprosy. Though Francis’ family was wealthy, he embraced poverty so he could be in solidarity and service to the poor. Many have imitated his example throughout the centuries as Franciscan communities formed and continued his mission.|
Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.”
There is as similar story in the lives of Edith Stein, St. Francis of Assisi, and Sr. Miriam. They each believed worldly things would satisfy the longing in their heart. They made the courageous decision to give their ambitions and dreams to Jesus. When they encountered the love of Jesus, they immediately got serious about following Him. Getting serious about our faith is making sure we receive good nutrition for our souls.
What would you say to someone who says: “I believe in God but I’ll get serious about my faith later on. Right now I am young and want to have fun.”
“Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to oﬀer spiritual sacriﬁces acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
—1 Peter 2:4-5
One way that you can get serious about your faith is to develop the habits of the saints. In a previous study we talked about the acronym H.A.B.I.T.S.
H – stands for Holy hour (setting aside time every day for prayer)
A – is Accountability (friends that help you pursue Christ)
B – stands for Bible (study, meditation and memorization)
I – is Invest in your parish (tithe and service)
T – is to Tell others about Jesus
S – is Sacraments (frequent Eucharist and Confession)
What habits have you been doing the best with? What habits do you need some help? Would you be willing to have someone in the group check in with you this week about a habit you need to improve in?
My prayer is that you grow closer to Jesus and also grow in discernment. Discernment begins with the desire to do the Lord’s will in your life. Our ability to discern God’s will grows as our prayer life grows. This is why reading Scripture is so important. God will speak to you in His Word. As you read Scripture, be attentive to what is going on in your heart— thoughts, memories, desires, or other feelings. Ask the Lord what He wants you to understand from these movements in your heart. This is often how God will direct your steps!
In John 6, Jesus multiplied the small generous oﬀering of a boy to feed 5,000. What could he do with your gifts? Take some time now to think about what commitment you can make, and jot a reminder to yourself.
Let’s close in prayer. Start by telling God what you’re grateful for. Pray the Our Father and then remain quiet as you think about where you have fallen short as a disciple of Jesus over the past week. Pause for a minute or two. Silence is a good thing. Pray with me: Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Pray a Glory Be. Hail Mary and ask for Mary’s intercession, that we may be as devoted a disciple as she is.
Thank you for stopping in! Be sure to be part of the virtual party May 13!
What’s your name story? Do you know what your name means? Look it up here: www.behindthename.com/