One of the main similarities is the belief that the Church is the Body of Christ. They believe that they come together to celebrate that unity with joy, with investment, with a shared understanding of what they believe, how to live as disciples of Christ and through this experience inside and outside of the house of God, they have a sense of themselves as part of each other’s lives and that without that active understanding of what it means to be a faith community they would merely be a social group.
The Catholic Church also teaches that the community of believers is the Body of Christ. Every Sunday all the members of the Body of Christ the Church are called to come together in celebration and thanksgiving. The adopted brothers and sisters of Jesus know they need the the grace of the sacrament which is not a private “receiving” but a sharing in the most profound moment of the manifestation of our unity. Unity with Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Angels, Saints and every single human being who has been born again of water and fire. That we come together to celebrate that unity with joy, with investment, with a shared understanding of what they believe, how to live as disciples of Christ and through this experience inside and outside of the house of God, we have a sense of ourselves as part of each other’s lives and that without that active understanding of what it means to be a faith community, we would merely be a social club. Some Catholics believe this, many don’t, many struggle to understand.
Unity, a sense of ourselves as a family and members of the One Body of Christ, greatly affects how we experience coming together for Mass and the way we celebrate. Maybe we find it difficult to express ourselves as community during Mass because we don’t have that experience community outside the house of God. The disciples of Christ remain in Christ and Christ remains in them if they love as Christ loves, and do as He commands. Jesus said that “By this will all know that you are my disciples, that you have love one for another” (John 13:35), and referred to the unity which follows from that when He prayed “May they all be one… may they be so completely one that the world will realize that it was you [the Father] who sent me” (John 17:21,23). Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we must move beyond being an assembly of strangers on Sunday, and more fully experience ourselves as the Body of Christ between Sundays.
Our daily lives must reflect the Eucharist we celebrate. Each day, we must give of ourselves, pour out our lives in service and in love of others. Through the Body and Blood of Christ, we find the necessary strength to do more than persevere in this world; we find the grace and power to thrive and to make a real difference in our families, communities, countries.
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.