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Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Church: Divine and Human

There is one body and one Spirit. In the same way, you were called to the one hope of your calling There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism
Ephesians 4:4

Jesus is one. There is no human Jesus and divine Jesus. There is just one Jesus, fully human and fully divine. These two natures are united in the person of Jesus. Similarly, there is only one Church. The Church is also divine and human. How can the Church be divine when we see a lot of sins being committed by her members?

Jesus is fully divine and fully human. His divinity means he is perfect in every way. He could not physically be hurt nor can he die. When Jesus took on flesh, he became human. He experienced physical and emotional pain. He experienced everything we can experience. He was tempted also but he did not sin. His body shed blood. In fact, Jesus died. Did his death mean Jesus was not divine? He rose from the dead, to prove he is fully God and fully human. Jesus did not become God when he rose from the dead. He was God even when he was physically dead. The perfect God did not have a perfect human body. He had an imperfect human body that died.

Similarly, the Church is divine. She can never err in her teaching in faith and morals. Her actions, the sacraments, the liturgy, the scripture, her teaching show the power, glory and mercy of God. But because she is made up of human beings, she is also imperfect. Her body can be injured through the sins of her members. Her members can and do hurt other people because of their sinfulness. Church leaders may be corrupt. Church members may do bad things and teach wrong things. But these are acts of men and women in the Church. These are not the acts of the Church. We need to separate the actions and teaching of individuals within the Church from the institution.

God gave the Church because of his love. He instituted the office of the Papacy out of his love. He gave this office the gift of infallibility out of his love for the world. God does not want his children to grope for the truth. He wants his children to know the truth. If there is no one to say what is right in terms of faith and morals, we have everyone defining the truth based on their own ideas. And this is what is happening now. Everyone is a theologian. Everyone is their own God.

We have seen sinful popes in throughout history yet, despite their sinfulness, they have not changed the teaching of the Church. Many people today want to change the teaching of the Church on life, sexuality and marriage. But these people do not understand that the Church will not change her teaching on these matters, no matter how unpopular it may be. Throughout history, we have seen how the Church has outlasted governments, dictators and political movements. And she will continue to stay no matter what others say because Jesus said, “Not even the gates of hell will prevail against it.”

In the Book of Revelation, we see the vision of a new Jerusalem coming down from heaven. She is the Bride of Christ and she will continue until her Master comes. She does not exist to gain market share. She exists to proclaim her Lord and Master and with her, we join her in praying, “Come Lord Jesus, Come!

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