Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

Lectionary: 666

...built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Long before the infant church could imagine building basilicas and cathedrals and create the astonishing gothic churches of medieval Europe, Saint Paul compared our fellowship to a "temple sacred in the Lord" with "Christ Jesus himself as the capstone."
Imagine, if you will, getting into your car next Sunday morning and taking the familiar course to church. Imagine your astonishment if, upon turning the last corner, you discovered the church is not there. It's gone. Nothing was said; no announcements were made; but the church is missing.
It's a ridiculous fantasy but not so absurd as the possibility that the entire Church might disappear. One of our Eucharistic Prayers recalls that in the flesh of Jesus Christ and by his crucifixion, the Father has bound himself to our human race by "a bond that can never be undone."
That Jesus died and was raised up are undeniable historical facts; history cannot be changed. Equally unchangeable and irreversible is the covenant which God has made with us. The Holy Spirit will always gather people through Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation and the Priesthood to celebrate the other sacraments of Penance, Matrimony and the Anointing of the Sick.
This or that person may resist and refuse but the Holy Spirit continually finds willing souls to receive and celebrate the Covenant and announce it to succeeding generations.
The Church will always be reviled and despised; it will always be sinful and demoralized by scandal; and yet the mercy of Jesus Christ Crucified and Risen will still comfort, console, heal, enable and empower apostolic persons to announce the Gospel. No furtive ideology of "spirituality" or "individualism" or "personal salvation" can prevent the Father from sending the Holy Spirit.
This is why we celebrate the Apostles. They are immoveable stones which the Lord himself set in place.
The church which you expect to see next Sunday morning, built of stone, steel, glass or wood, only symbolizes the real church. That is built of living stones, reliable people like you who have been set in place by the master craftsman. You are "being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit" and all generations to come will call you blessed.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.