FIRST IDEA:  Why are there no churches named  for the Apostles? The Old Testament had twelve tribes named for Joseph’s brothers. The early church was the continuation of the Old Testament, yet there are no local faith communities that bear their name.  There is the community of Ephesians, Colossians, Corinthians, Hebrews, etc… but no Church of Peter, Church of Paul, Church of Apollos.  Why is that? What were they trying to say by not naming a community assemblies after a personality?  What was their rationale?

I Corinthians 1

Divisions in the Church

10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[d] by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters.[e] 12 What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God[f] that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

SECOND IDEA: One of the ideas I have found helpful in dealing with some criticisms that the Church does not focus enough on Christ but more on rules and regulations of the Church, is the following simple but profound exercise. What are the facts?

When you go to the Eucharist, how many times can you see Jesus represented or highlighted for your reflection and contemplation? In my Lectio Divina meditation on Phil 2:5, I found my thoughts focusing on seeing Christ before me as I entered my parish church of Good Shepherd, Florida. I tried to list all the times I saw Christ placed at the center of my thoughts and prayers as I tried to move from self to God.  Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. The doors are gateways to the new temple of Jerusalem, the local expression of the Body of Christ.
  2. I take holy water when I enter and make the sign of the cross, the sign in which I was baptized to new life in Christ, the sign of my redemption, the sign I will receive as the last thing I see on earth. This is the sign of contradiction, Phil 2:5 states we all should have in us the mind of Christ Jesus. The reason we should do so was that He emptied himself from being God to take on our sinful nature. The reason he did that was to reconcile us with the Father. The water of life refreshes my soul.

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