Jesus founded his Church on Peter, the Rock. ” You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall Not prevail against her”. ” I will be with you always, till the end of time”
There is truth in the words of Jesus . The kingdom of God on earth, the Church, had a very humble beginning. A Galilean carpenter surrounded by a few fishermen, walking through the region, preaching and working wonders. The Church was firmly established on Jesus, as the corner stone and has been under the same ‘management’ for over two thousands years.
On the feast of Pentecost, when the Spirit of God promised by Jesus, came upon the disciples, a wonderful beginning took place. The Church was rejuvenated and the bark of Peter became unsinkable . She will sail triumphantly on and on till the end for she has the promise of Jesus .
The lesson that runs though the gospel and through history is ‘not to be afraid, not to lose heart’ . We are to live, to teach and to spread the gospel with courage. Our message is backed by Jesus and his Devine authority.
As the Church flourished from east to west , all kinds of people found shelter among its branches. That does not mean that Jesus planted a ‘rose garden’. As history attests, from the beginning persecutions arose, crisis of humiliation and defections marred the Church quite a few times but the words of Christ remain strong, ” The gates of hell, shall not prevail against her”. Pastor, in his’ History of the Popes’, writes, “The Church’s periods of deepest humiliation are always the periods of her greatest strength and that the tomb and death, are only symbols of her resurrection to a new life”. In out times. Church is persecuted in quite a few countries. Her doctrine, many a time is branded as outmoded, many a time it has to endure restrictions on her freedom of action; yet the Church will survive and will emerge stronger and purified more than ever before. Her purpose is to proclaim the good news of the gospel, both when convenient or inconvenient. It is her duty to safeguard the Christian principles, to teach morality and to foster peace, love and justice.
We cannot become ‘ paralyzed Christians’ we have a job to do. Be not afraid to stand up and be counted for what you believe in. The Church has a role to play in human history.
As someone said, ” A Church that is not persecuted, should question the reason of her existence .
This is your Church, founded on the apostles with Jesus the corner stone. Love it, cherish it and defend it.
Prayer::: “O God, from living stones, your chosen people, you built an eternal temple to
your glory. Increase the spiritual gifts you have given to your Church that
that your faithful people may continue to grow into the new and eternal
Jerusalem. Amen. ( Book .of Christian Prayer).
God bless you and yours. Fr. David. O.P.