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Father Muench Says...

We are all united together as Church

Sept. 11, 2019

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I would like to write to you today about the challenge that is ours: to live well as a committed member of the Catholic Church. This commitment demands a bold, strong faith in God and in our Church. Each Sunday at Mass, we all say together the Nicene Creed. This moment in the liturgy of the Blessed Eucharist is a celebration of faith, of our own faith. This is a most important moment during the Mass.

Publicly, we announce to each other and to the world our beliefs – “I believe in God, the Father Almighty…I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ…I believe in the Holy Spirit…I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.”
The Second Vatican Council wrote a document on the Church, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. This document speaks of us, the members of the Catholic Church, as the People of God. The Council Fathers wrote, “God has willed to make all men and women holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge God and serve him in holiness.” We are all united together as Church. We are each an important part of this Church.

With faith in God and faith in the Church, we are challenged, each and every one of us, to live well as Catholics, members of the People of God. Each of us were made part of Christ’s Church by our Baptism. However, each day we must renew that Baptism by choosing in faith to live our lives as a committed member of the People of God, as a Catholic.

I recognize each Sunday, as I celebrate Mass, as I join with a congregation of people that together, we are the Church of Christ. This is my family, and we are praying together, praying for each other. We all, in faith, dedicate our lives to live well as a baptized person, committed to God as a member of the Church, the Kingdom of God.

You may remember that a few Sundays ago, the Scripture readings focused on Jesus’ message of humility. Jesus teaches us, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
As a priest and pastor, I have recognized many humble, rather unnoticed people who have truly transformed this world by living committed lives, by bringing the Lord’s love and peace to the world and leading others closer to the Lord by doing many powerful things. They were truly dedicated in their humility. In many ways, they have been doing miracles – as teachers, as parents, as coaches, as religious sisters, as priests – in simple, yet powerful ways. I have personally been touched in loving ways by many families, families that some might call ordinary. Yet, these were truly extraordinary in so many ways. I learned so much from them. I continue to find many who do ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

One more thing to add here: There are some who may consider Jesus’ call to humility as a call to do nothing. I notice many who are called to do something great and good, called to make a difference in life, and yet they consider themselves not good enough, not holy enough, not talented enough to something, and they don’t do anything. Humility is a call from the Lord to understand who we are, to recognize our talents and abilities and to do all we can to live like Jesus by living a good Catholic life and being committed members of the People of God.
Our Lord Jesus will be with us, to lead us and guide us. Jesus will always help us so that we can discover the power of Christ’s Spirit to be a committed member of the Catholic Church. It may cost, it may mean self-sacrifice, but it will be our way of making our Church strong and living with the power of the Lord. Jesus will show us the way when we trust the Lord’s presence in our lives. We will live in the enthusiasm of the Lord.

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