Monday, March 19, 2012

The Domestic Church (cont...)

You and I are the domestic church. I just want to further talk about what I envision this as. First and foremost, it's important to realize that while we have people in authority, we are also a nation of priests. We spiritually have a responsibility to take that seriously. That means that in our homes, we too are first and foremost the priests in our home. The first responsibility of the domestic church, is to lead their flock. That means that we have a huge responsibility to know our faith. We need to be able to explain who we are, what we believe, and to teach our children and families what our faith is about and why we believe as we do. That is part of our vocation as the family, as the domestic part of the church.

That is a huge undertaking, being responsible not just for your faith, but in helping with the formation and understanding of the faith of the entire home. Many people leave the domestic church here, this is all they envision it doing. Yet, we know that a church has more than just a priest. The priest is indeed very important, and the church could not serve it's purpose without his guidance and more especially his service at the mass. But there are other people who help make the church run smoothly.

One of the most important ministries of the church is the greeter. They stand by the door before and after mass, welcoming people with polite conversation, a hand shake, and sometimes a hug (all based on the personality of that greeter.) Their purpose is to make the church a welcoming place, to invite people in warmly and help people out of town find their way into this parish for a visit. The greeter is the face of the church so to speak, because they are the first person seen. The first impression is often the most important, because it 'colors' the rest of your perception.

We as the domestic church are also greeters! We ourselves are the face that people see in the world. We ARE the ones they remember, the people who 'color' a persons experience with our church. Think about that responsibility for a minute! Ghandi once said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it's not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time."

If we the domestic church had been doing our job... Ghandi would have been welcomed. Our Christians would be much more like our Christ. So I challenge that each of us, the domestic church, must indeed become greeters! We must welcome people into our homes, our lives, etc. Some ways we can do this is simply being kind to our neighbors.  Simple actions speak volumes. Not running the lawn mower when they are having a get together in their yard, or asking if they need help carrying something that looks heavy. Even simply taking their trash cans up for them at the end of the day, when you do your own.

Be the face of Christ in the world.. greet people warmly and serve them so that we the domestic church, will lead them to the Church itself, the Body of Christ, the living word of God!