May 14, 2017 — Fifth Sunday of Easter
The word “church” finds its roots in the Greek word ecclesia. However, a correct translation of that word is actually “an assembly of people, called out of their homes into a public meeting place.” Thus, the Church is really the people who make it up; the use of the term in relation to a building has developed through time, but we must never forget that it is we who are indeed the Church.
That is a basic part of something St. Peter writes in our Second Reading. Peter says, “… like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house,” in reference to the members. He is saying in effect that we are called to build a church with living stones, namely ourselves. We all also understand that for a structure to be most effective, every element is needed to keep it strong.
We, as the Church and as our parish, are no different. We need each person, each part of what is really the Church, to be like a living stone, active and involved. We are a faith community, not just a community of worshipers, but a community to reach out and serve others. To really do that we need each member to offer something of himself or herself.
In a message to a celebration about the Church being the people, Pope Francis said, “It is isolation that harms, not sharing. Being among people does not mean merely being open toward others, but also letting others get close to us.” To be open, to be Church, requires each of us to do a part.