Traveling to Bethlehem (18 December 2010)

The Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit

The Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit

Question: Do I know what the Church is? This might at first appear to be a foolish questions to ask, but I do not ask it lightly.  Most of us adults in the Church are too embarrassed to admit we don’t understand. What don’t we understand? We don’t know what the Church is! Perhaps, the most basic question we should ask is: “Do we have a personal relationship with Christ?”  Ours is a personal God who came to earth, being born in a manger, so that each of us could enjoy a personal relationship with Him.  After His crucifixion and resurrection, He sent His Holy Spirit to empower us; so that we could truly live.  With our Baptism, we become new creatures in Christ, free of sin. With our Chrismation, we are given, as a free gift, His Spirit to allow us to grow in Him.  By partaking in Holy Communion, we become united to Christ. The added dimension is that we are also united to everyone who participates in His Body and His Blood. The Church is actualised when we, as the faithful, come together and become the Body of Christ.

Through God’s Holy Spirit, we are no longer lonely individuals. We become personally united with Christ and through Him with each other.  The Church transcends time and space. It has a cosmic dimension that connects us withHim and all Christians.  This bond is not limited by physical death, time or place. The Church is Christ and all who are joined with him.  This miracle is a mystery of faith.  As St. Paul explains in his Letter to the Hebrews: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen” (Hebrews 11, 1).  We cannot see the Church, yet it is! It is for us the ultimate reality; the Kingdom of God on earth and a foretaste of heaven. This is as personal a relationship that we could ever experience. Once again, St. Paul says it best, “ I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.