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Lesson 1 The Church: The Family for Everyone 1. Etymology and meaning of the word Church (CCC 751 and CFC 1355) - in Latin ecclesia, from the Greek ek-kalein, which means to call out of - it means a convocation or an assembly - it designates the assemblies of the people, usually for a religious purpose But if you want anything else, it must be settled in the regular assembly. Acts 19:39 - in the Church, God is calling together His people from all the ends of the earth - the equivalent Greek term kyriake, from which the English word church and the German kirche are derived, means what belongs to God a. The meaning and use of the phrase qahal jahweh in the Old Testament - used frequently in the Old Testament for the assembly of the chosen people before God, above all for their assembly on Mount Sinai where Israel received the Law and was established by God as his holy people as seen in Exodus 19
Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites. So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, We will do everything the Lord has said. So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord. The Lord said to Moses, I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you. Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said. And the Lord said to Moses, Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

the profound theme was the People of God

b. The meaning and use of the word ekklesia in the New Testament - By calling itself Church, the first community of Christian believers recognized itself as the heir to that assembly - All images find a new center as Christ became the head of this people, which henceforth is His Body Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything. Colossians 1:18
THY 2 / Ms. Rhaine Alonzo

Scriptural Images or Group Images referring to the Church: y a sheepfold (an enclosure for sheep), the gateway to which is Christ y the flock of which God Himself foretold that He would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ Himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave up His life for His sheep y a cultivated field, the tillage of God; that land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator y the building of God wherein Christ compared Himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the corner-stone y our Mother, the spotless Spouse of the spotless lamb; it is she whom Christ loved and for whom He delivered Himself up that He might sanctify her

2. The communal life of the early Christian community (Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM)
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 The Prayer Life of the Early Community  42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. The awesome effect  43 Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. V.42 describes the characteristics of the early Church, to whom the apostles preached.  They become devoted to: - The teaching of the apostles - The communal life - The breaking of the bread (eucharist) - The prayers (supposedly psalms) V.43 describes the effect of the early Christian community.  Having a sense of awe is a religious experience. It is a sign of holiness, God is taking hold of you.  The apostles are still instruments of Gods wonders and signs. In v.44, the early Christians live a community life and have their things in common, without being told by the apostles. Their belief in the risen Christ (thru the preaching of the apostles) drives them to be more fraternal to each other. In v.45, they do more by selling their property and possessions (poverty, detachment) and divide according to each ones need (justice).

The Common Life  44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;  45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need.

THY 2 / Ms. Rhaine Alonzo

The Prayer Life Again  46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. Multiplication of Members  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

V.46 picks up again v.42. The apostles go to the temple (to pray) and to their homes (for the Eucharist).  They eat with joy and sincere hearts. V.47 describes further the prayer life of the community. V.47 speaks of the giftedness of the community:  more new members.

3. The present Christian usage of the word Church (CCC 752) a. The liturgical assembly In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you 1 Corinthians 11:18 b. The local community I am writing to God's church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:2 c. The whole universal community of believers For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 1 Corinthians 15:9 4. The sacrament of Baptism: A sacrament of initiation into the Christian community - One becomes a member of this People of God not by a physical birth, but by being born anew, a birth of water and the Spirit. That is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism (CCC 782) - One enters into the People of God by faith and Baptism. All men are called to belong to the new People of God (LG 13), so that, in Christ, men may form one family and one People of God. (AG 1) - Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word." (CCC 1213)

THY 2 / Ms. Rhaine Alonzo