I used to work with older adults and was surprised how much I enjoyed conversations with them as they shared stories of their lives.
One man I worked with told me one day of how he helped build the small country church in the tiny town where he had lived his entire life. I was moved with what a beautiful life accomplishment that would be, to physically build a place of worship for yourself and your community. I thought to myself then and now how meaningful it would be to build a church, truly a life accomplishment.
But then I'm reminded that the Church is not simply a piece of human achievement, art, or skill; it is made of humans.
Jesus chose to build His Church upon real, fallible, weak people. Saint Peter, Saint John, Saint Bartholomew whom we celebrate today, and all the Apostles, were real human men and could disappoint so much more easily than a beautiful building or work of art. They were chosen by God Incarnate to be the foundation of His Church for the entire world. The Church is all of us weak human beings who betray, who sin, who walk away.
We are so much more unsteady and untrustworthy than a beautiful temple or cathedral. But Jesus chooses to elevate all of us baptized in His name to become members of His Mystical Body: the Church.
That Jesus would choose to give His Apostles and us so much, that He would entrust His Church to us, is a great mystery.
It is a mystery that I still wrestle with in understanding the many ways people in the Church fail, disappoint, and destroy, and my own desire to build up and support the Church so that it can reach more souls both now and in the future. In many ways building a physical building is so much easier than building up the Church. Even though it feels far less profound and tangible, I'm building the Church right now as I live out my vocation, as I share the Faith with others, as I raise my children in the Faith.
You have the opportunity to build up the Church up too, wherever you are.
Blessed Fulton Sheen wrote a whole book about the Mystical Body of Christ, and here's a great audio clip about it.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Ten Commandments study found here.