Posted by: matt25 | November 14, 2013

The More Things Change The More We Stay The Same

How incredibly much the world has changed in the last 1900 years. Yet with all of the nations and empires that have come and gone, with all of the new technologies that have developed, we are essentially the same. We still try to grasp for truth and meaning in order to make sense of our existence.

You may say, “Now, wait just a minute Deacon! The bible tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Don’t you believe that?”

Of course I do. But some people believed that 1900 years ago too. If it is truth as we believe, why don’t most people believe it by now? Is it because they aren’t really interested in truth?

I don’t think so. I think that we who believe distort the good news so that it becomes unbelievable. Depending upon the day, I know that I can be guilty of doing that, perhaps you could admit to it as well. It boils down to this, actions speak louder than words. This has been a problem from the earliest days of the church as evidenced by this ancient text from today’s Office of Readings. From a homily written in the second century (Cap 13,2-14,5: Funk 1, 159-161):

The living Church is the body of Christ

My name is constantly blasphemed by unbelievers, says the Lord. Woe to the man who causes my name to be blasphemed. Why is the Lord’s name blasphemed? Because we say one thing and do another. When they hear the words of God on our lips, unbelievers are amazed at their beauty and power, but when they see that those words have no effect in our lives, their admiration turns to scorn, and they dismiss such words as myths and fairy tales.

They listen, for example, when we tell them that God has said: It is no credit to you if you love those who love you, but only if you love your enemies, and those who hate you. They are full of admiration at such extraordinary virtue, but when they observe that we not only fail to love people who hate us, but even those who love us, they laugh us to scorn, and the Name is blasphemed.

Therefore, brothers, if we do the will of God the Father, we shall be members of the first spiritual Church that was created before the sun and the moon; but if we fail to do the will of the Lord, we shall be among those to whom it is said in Scripture: My house has been made into a robbers’ den. We must choose then, if we want to be saved, to be members of the Church of life.

You surely cannot be ignorant of the fact that the living Church is the body of Christ; for Scripture says: God made man male and female. Now the male signifies Christ, and the female signifies the Church, which, according to both the Old and the New Testament, is no recent creation, but has existed from the beginning. At first the Church was purely spiritual, even as our Jesus was spiritual, but it appeared in the last days to save us.

For the spiritual Church was made manifest in the body of Christ, in order to show us that if we uphold its honor in the outward, visible form, and do not defile it, we shall, through the Holy Spirit be made its members in the true, spiritual sense. For the body of the Church is a copy of the Spirit, and no one who defaces the copy can have any part in what the copy represents. In other words, brothers, you must preserve the honor of the body in order to share in the Spirit. For if we say that the body is the Church and the Spirit is Christ, it follows that anyone who dishonors his body, dishonors the Church. Such a man will have no part in the Sprit, which is Christ. But if the Holy Spirit is joined to it, this body can receive an immortal life that is wonderful beyond words, for the blessings God has made ready for his chosen ones surpass all human powers of description.


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