I turned 50th last April 8. It should have been the most awaited birthday in my existence because I became a golden boy on that very day. It is a time to both thank the Lord for His graciousness to me and to celebrate. However, pandemic prevented us to social gatherings so nobody came to cheer and congratulate me but only messages of greetings; no one came to give me a hug to assure me that everything will be fine but only phone calls of encouragement. It was a day of pure solitude and complete silence. It was a difficult situation but perhaps God gave me this opportunity to reflect profoundly on the meaning and purpose of life. Birthday celebration is not just a time for eating, drinking and cheering with circle of friends but a moment to ask myself “do I know where I am going to?” I have at least three essential realizations, namely, that I have given my entire life to God; I am called to service and my goal in my ministry is Christian transformation.
Today we are celebrating of the great feasts in the history of our salvation. Last Sunday, role of the Jesus Christ, the redeemer of the world was concluded and the new era commenced which is the period of the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. It is a time when the Church is born so today we are celebrating the birthday of the Christian church. This is very significant because for the ten long weeks Church experienced death due to pandemic and on this very day life is once again restored. Today is an appropriate time to reflect the meaning and purpose of the existence of the Church. The FOUNDATION of the Church is communion. The Acts of the Apostles recalls to us the very first assembly of the believers. Divided tongues rested on them, they were filled by the Holy Spirit and were speaking in other languages. What makes them united is that they possess one and the same life which is given by the Holy Spirit. They are driven by one noble mission which is the proclamation of the kingdom of God. We are both the Church and a family. We have such kind of image because we have one Father in heaven; we are being fed in one and the same table of the Eucharist and share together our stories how we are affected by the very life of Jesus. In other words, the church is not something you go to; it is a family you belong to.
The MISSION of the Church is collaboration. The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians made mention that there are varieties of gifts but the same spirit, there are varieties of activities but the same Lord. Each one of us was given something special that others might not have which is meant to be shared for the service of the community. Talents are not meant for competition but collaboration. Everybody has something to give and receive because in the church nobody is too poor who has nothing to give and nobody is so rich that has nothing to receive. The kingdom of God is the fusion of various talents in our community.
The VISION of the Church is to bring forth conversion. The gospel is all about the marching command of Jesus to the apostles after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit which is the forgiveness of sins. The reign of peace is only possible when we allow Jesus to transform our hearts. Forgiveness is crushing of hatred and refilling of love in into our hearts.