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WHAT DOES THE ‘CHURCH’ MEAN ?

The Greek word for CHURCH is “ekklesia”= those who are called forth. All of us who are baptized and believe in God are called forth by the Lord. Together we are the Church. Christ is, as Paul says, the Head of the Church. We are his body. When we receive the sacraments and hear God’s word. Christ is in us and we are in him that is the Church. The intimate communion of life with Jesus that is shared personally by all baptized is described in Sacred Scripture by a wealth of images: here it speaks about the People of God and in another passage about the Bride of Christ; now the church is called Mother, and again she is God’s family, or she is compared with a wedding feast. Never is the Church a mere institution, never just the “official Church” that we could do without. We will be upset by the mistakes and defects in the CHURCH, but we can never distance ourselves from her, because God has made an irrevocable decision to love her and does not forsake her despite all the sins of her members. The Church is God’s presence among us men. That is why we must love her. (You cat – 121)

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