THE CHURCH by YDisciple
Community Part 1
Adapted by Kaitlin Welters
Photo by Matthew Breiter Photography
This is my family and I chose this picture because it fits with the lesson of community and being united and also being there for each other when we need it most.
Today’s topic is on the Church as a community. Though, the community we are going to be talking about today is a bit different from how “community” is normally understood. You have probably heard of a virtual community, or international community, or even a community center. The word church comes from the Hebrew word qahal (sounds like ka hell), which means “called community.” Throughout history, God has been calling all people to Himself. In the Old Testament, we read about God calling the people of Israel. In the New Testament, the community of people God called is the Church. The question we want to consider during this lesson is: What exactly has God called us to?
Before the lesson starts, take a moment to answer these questions:
What do you think Jesus would look like if He walked among us today?
If God agreed to do one thing to prove He exists, what would you want Him to do?
Where do you feel closest to God?
If your teacher said to your class that “God is dead,” how would you respond?
Imagine a spider web on the dewy grass. The spider web makes all the grass it touches connected. If the wind blew and made just one or two blades of grass lose grip of the web, it would cause the web to be looser knit; making something cool fall apart and become kinda messed up and deformed.
No one is insignificant. Just as every blade of grass was necessary to maintain the pattern of the web, you are necessary to the Church. The Catechism says: “God has… willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness”(CCC 781).
Please pray with me:
Jesus, thank You for laying down Your life so that we can be members of Your Church. Come into our hearts today and show us what the Church really is. Help us to see that we are actually a part of Your Mystical Body. Open our hearts to see that apart from You we can do nothing, but with You we can do all things, just like You taught Your disciples at the Last Supper with these words: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you do nothing” (John 15:5).
The story of Saul having a conversion is a powerful story. He was riding to Damascus to arrest Christians when he had this amazing encounter with Christ.
“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.”
It gives us all hope that a man like Saul is the same guy who later became Paul who later wrote, “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:5)
Here is the video from formed.org for Community Part 1 with Ennie Hickman. You can watch the 8 minute video through the pauses:
The Church is a beautiful place where we can come together as one like a family with God our Father. There are 4 marks of the Church which are:
One- This brings about our unity. We are one in that we are all God’s beloved sons and daughters.
Holy- The Church gives us the grace to overcome sin and that which divides us. Growing in holiness is growing to love as God loves. The grace of God gives us the power to love our enemies.
Catholic- The Catholic Church is a universal gift. Jesus has asked us to share this gift, to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
Apostolic- Jesus handed His teaching and ministry on to the Apostles, and the Apostles to their successors. Jesus also gave us the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us.
As this lesson comes to an end I ask you to reflect with me on how we may have fallen short as a disciple of Jesus over the past week and now pray with me:
Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Help me to love more deeply and care for my enemies. Now we ask for the intercession of Mary, that we may be as devoted a disciple as she is. Hail Mary! Full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Below is a scene from Blind Side- thinking about being community. Challenge this week: How will you practice being the community?