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I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Word from Andre

COMMUNITY


Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, finds that belonging (Zu gehorigkeit) is one of the basic properties of the human being (Da sein).

This is a truth that Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, has expressed a long time ago when he wrote the human being is zoon politikon, namely a social being.

Alfred Adler, the Viennese psychologist, also stresses the fact that the human person is fundamentally socially oriented. He talks about the human being as having a feeling for community (gemeinschaftsgefuhl), that he/she naturally seeks his/her self-realization within a community. This truth of the necessity to live in a community has been understood ever since human beings became conscious of their reality in the world and subsequently began to organize in groups. Israel, the chosen people of God, presents itself, as gathered by the Torah, which in faith, is understood as the pouring out of the heart of God for the elected people. The Qahal (Community) is the place in which the Torah is read and preached and worship is rendered to God as a response of gratitude for God's magnanimity.

Greece has also stressed through the writings of its great thinkers, particularly Plato, the importance of the city (polis) and of the community (ekklesia).

Following the example of Jesus, of gathering a group of apostles and disciples as well as his Great Commission to evangelize the world (Matt. 28:19-20), Christianity has organized itself from the very beginning in to a church community. In the Acts of the Apostles (2:42-46) the followers of the resurrected Jesus appear to be focused on four things:
  1. The teaching of the apostle, the listening to the word of God (Didaskalion).
  2. Communion of faith, spirit, mind and heart and the sharing of goods (Koinonia).
  3. The Breaking of the bread (the Eucharist).
  4. The prayer, the worship of God (Leitourgia).

When Joan Baez sings that "No man is an island", she reminds us of the ancient truth that human beings need to be in a community or else they wilt.

In the same way, God offers and actuates the divine salvation within an ecclesiastical community.

Let us gather in our churches with love and become a genuine, human and Christian community by the grace of God.

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