Where can you meet God? (about the Church which is not only the walls of the temple)

Tuesday, 01 December 2020, 10:47
In the 29th issue of the video project His Beatitude Sviatoslav: #clearly_about_complicated the Head of the UGCC suggested looking at the Church of Christ as a community of believers, where one can meet God. Below we offer a text version of the catechesis.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, participants in this spiritual journey! We continue to reflect on the topic of faith, we continue to deepen our understanding of what it means to believe.

I would like to begin today's reflection with one question that we find in the various stories of the Holy Fathers. When the spiritual father met with his disciple, the young man asked, “Where can you meet God? Where can you get to know Him?” Over the centuries, many authors of different traditions, countries and peoples have unanimously answered: “God can be found in the Church. God can be known in a community of believers.”

The Church is not only a temple, the Church is a community of believers

When we hear that God can be found in the Church, we probably spontaneously imagine this Church as some visible structure that we can enter (even when no one is there), look at paintings, icons and feel something extraordinary, supernatural - to feel the eternal world in the space of the holy temple. And indeed, there is a very important truth in this. Because God sometimes invites us to visit a special place at a certain time in order to attract our attention.

But when the Holy Fathers say that God can be found in the Church, they mean something else. God can be found primarily among believers. He can be found among those people who communicate with Him. That is why it is very important to find your way.

We need someone to help us get closer to that Master, to the God they know, the one they listen to, the one they have experienced and met.

The Church is a divine-human organism

The Church of Christ as a community of believers has two dimensions. This is a divine-human organism. It is obvious that the believer remains a person with all his inherent elements of humanity, with his limitations, declines, sins. But the believer, in addition to having the fullness of all that is human, is at the same time a temple of the Holy Spirit. We said that to believe is to allow God to dwell in us. And it is precisely this dwelling of God in man and with men that constitutes the invisible, or Divine, element of the life of Christ's Church. Christ's Church imparts true knowledge and understanding of God.

The Church shares the experience of communion with God

We have talked in past broadcasts about God's Tradition. In fact, the community of the Church passes from generation to generation the experience of living communion with God. This community has given birth to and written down the books of Scripture, so now we can read, study, and hear the Word of God addressed to us today.

The Church is apostolic

St. Irenaeus of Lyons speaks very interestingly about the apostolic nature of the Tradition in the Church of Christ, about the way it is experienced. The Tradition passes from generation to generation, trying to preserve its fullness and not lose anything along the way. He explains this apostolic Tradition as a certain dynamism of the life of the Church.

The community of Christ's Church is a guarantee that our faith is true, correct. The Church of Christ, which continues to preach what the apostles preached from the beginning, is a guarantee that we understand the Scriptures correctly.

"Symbol of Faith" of Christ's Church

Interestingly, the Church of Christ as a community of people has a certain symbol of her faith.

The "Symbol of Faith" is the key to understanding the true faith and the Scriptures. Therefore, those who partake of the Sacrament of Baptism, receive it in the Church in a solemn manner. Today we know the " Symbol of Faith " as "The Creed" prayer.

Without the "Creed" it is impossible to understand the authenticity of a personal act of faith. Without comparing our personal experience of religious life with the experience of Christ's Church through the "Creed" it is impossible to meet, to know the living God present among us today.

We will talk about the Creed and how it explains and reveals God present among us in our next meetings.


† Sviatoslav


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