Sometimes we tend to over-complicate our faith. Sometimes we over-think just what the Church is about. We have two thousand years of history, theological discourse and philosophical contemplation that sometimes muddies the waters of just what it means to be a member of Holy Mother Church. And though we have need of theology, and spiritual philosophy and need of advanced study and research sometimes we just need to get back to the basics.
For the past two weeks our Sunday Gospels tell us of Jesus calling his disciples. Today’s Gospel we see Jesus, while walking along the Sea of Galilee called to those he would make disciples to come and follow him. He says to Simon and Andrew: “Come after me. . . “. Each of us, as well, are being called to follow. Daily we are being called to come and see; for the rest of our lives we will get the same invitation. Christ loves us without end – He is always and everywhere urging us by this calling to enter into the Church, where we belong, where we realize our fullest as humans, where we are complete.
It is the Church where we find our strength, our peace, our joy of being. Within the Church I am assured of the Love that is lacking in the outside world. Within the Church I am assured of the Truth. The Church alone supplies the eternal light that illumines our path home. I am fully alive when I rest in the Church.
And why is this? Well, if we look for the answer by trying to analyze an institution we will not find it. We need to look for the answer in our relationship with a person – Christ.
I know this might sound very simplistic – but deep down, at the root of our relationship with God are two people you and Him. The reason the Church is all those things mentioned earlier, is because it is a living, breathing, organic if you will, body – it is Christ! When we lose sight of this our faith journey tends to become stale in its flavor, pale instead of vibrant, inert instead of active. As with any relationship if we don’t appreciate the other person it loses its vitality. We need to look at the Church, love the Church as we do Christ – because Christ and the Church are the same – it is that simple. Or as Saint Joan of Arc replied to her judges: “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”