“And it is in the parish that the liturgy is celebrated. Laws may be made in Rome, books may be written in Europe, directives may be issued from Washington, talks may be given at Notre Dame, but it is in a particular parish on a Sunday morning that out of all these rubrics and directives and bright ideas a community has to come to common worship, finding itself gathered together in the Spirit of Jesus before the presence of the Father” (Searle 13). We are given all the instruction, education, and help possible to form us into good Christians. However, it is the Holy Spirit that will guide us through our lives to answer the call to be an authentic Christian.
This mission in life is not complete if we do not go to the altar and allow our souls to be nourished with the body of Christ, if we do not gather with community to confess our wrongdoings and allow those sins to be forgiven, and if we do not pray together, share our peace with one another, and listen to the word of God. The “church” is not some institution that Constantine realized would bring him political gain, it cannot be run like a government. It is also not man-made. Jesus said to Peter, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18).
Jesus Christ is the head of it, the Holy Spirit guides it, God the father loves it, Mary is the mother of it, and we, we are the body of it on this earth together in community, breathing it in, and giving it out, listening, and letting God guide us to our own fulfillment but more importantly the fulfillment of God’s plan for our world, to love one another unconditionally through the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We are the church and our liturgy gives us the energy, education, understanding, and love needed to bring it to the world.