Presentation on theme: "JOHANNINE LITERATURE Joseph Oganda December 1 st, 2008."— Presentation transcript:
JOHANNINE LITERATURE Joseph Oganda December 1 st, 2008
THE ESSENCE OF COMMUNITY IN THE Johannine Literature
A TALK PRESENTED TO A PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERS THE AIM: To Create an Integrated Church; a place where every Believer can Live and experience the Love of Christ Fully.
Introduction It seems Gods people are confused about who they are. We need to inspire the faithful to share their love in the community. To bear in mind that for our community to grow along a common purpose, we must first acknowledge the ideal that every member and household be build upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.
Introduction We have to help the believers in our parish to once again rediscover their first love, the inspiring spark which first gave rise to the following. The following is only a response in love to the love of God. If we love it is because he first loved us (1Jn 4:10,19). He is before us in every person, identifying himself in a special way with the small, the poor, those who suffer and those most in need. Being in a community will in the long run truly have an impact on those outside of the church as others begin to see how God s people love one another
Instituted by Christ Living in a community is very essential for our faith in Christ Jesus. The foundation of Christian community is Jesus Christ himself. As believers we receive our life through Jesus Christ. We serve God with our unique spiritual gifts, and as we serve, we build Gods spiritual house By his Incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every man. In the New Testament, Jesus, the promised Messiah, invited each of the Apostles to be with him and to share his mission.
At the Last Supper, while entrusting them with the duty of perpetuating the memorial of his death and resurrection until his glorious return at the end of time, he offered for them to his Father this heart-broken prayer: I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them ( Jn 17: 26).
Instituted by Christ The Eucharist is the source of that ecclesial unity for which Jesus prayed on the eve of his passion: Father…that they also may be one in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me (Jn 17: 21). Yes, we must start afresh from Christ because it was from him that the first disciples started in Galilee.
A Life Lived by Early Christians When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me, and you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. ( Jn. 15: 26-27)
A Life Lived by Early Christians They shared Possessions. They were of one Mind. It is Christ who has made himself present in the communities of those who throughout the centuries have gathered in his name. Jesus is always with us. We are temples of the Spirit. Our God is not distant and remote, but is close to us.
Through Baptism we are called to Live in a Community of Believers You have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. ( 1Jn. 2: 4-5) People make the strongest walls when liked together in love and common purpose and are built on the same foundation. Baptism is the source of our identity in Christ, Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. ( Jn. 20: 29)
Through Baptism we are called to Live in a Community of Believers We become the Church, the royal and priestly people of God. We become sisters and brothers of Jesus and of one another. By baptism we share in his death and resurrection: with Jesus we die to sin and with him we rise to new life for God. We become temples of God's Spirit. We are sent by God to build up the kingdom by our daily living, by helping and serving others in love.
The Importance of Living in a Community Master, to whom shall we go to? You have the words of eternal life (Jn. 6: 68) By its nature the parish is the ordinary place where the faithful worship and live their Christian life. Practice Christian charity It is a family. Take part in the breaking of bread. Receive a new opportunity to come into contact with the sources of one's own charism. Mutual support in striving for holiness.
The importance of living in a community Receive the Holy Spirit who is the soul and animator of Christian community Learning how to become Christ for others. Learn from the other members of the community how to love. Receive care and protection. We learn how to share the joys and sufferings of our brothers and sisters; sensing their desires and attending to their needs; offering them true and profound friendship. As lives are changed through in-depth, integrated ministry, we will have new found zeal for spreading the Good News because we will be able to speak from experience. (Jn. 17: 18)
Types of Different Communities in the Church Question: How can the church, with all its individual members and households, become focused together in purpose? The community has to stipulate clearly its purpose as: A community join together to glorify God, to walk with God (John 10:27-29), to serve and support one another, to bring Gods message to unbelievers and to disciple believers to maturity in faith. The Church as Family cannot reach her full potential as Church unless she is divided into communities small enough to foster close human relationships.
Types of Different Communities in the Church The characteristics of such communities are: primarily they should be places engaged in evangelizing themselves, communities which pray and listen to God's Word, encourage the members themselves to take on responsibility, and reflect on different human problems in the light of the Gospel. Every person is crucial and can find fulfillment in his or her unique contribution. The parish exists, for the mission of Christ. The aim is to serve rather than be served. There should not be special interest groups in competition with one another.
Some groups within a parish community: Single people Young people The Family
Community going through death in the present Age of the Church
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will live me alone. ( Jn. 16: 32) The lack of connectedness in the local church with the lives of its members is killing the Church. People are looking for a place where to be forgiven and accepted and feel a sense of belonging. People are looking for purpose and fulfillment in life. The question: Can our community be the answer for them?
Community going through death in the present Age of the Church Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. ( Jn. 15:4-5) First of all we have to stop restricting our ministry to narrowly individualized programs that leave little room for integration of family and church life. Vision begins to collapse when the leaders see themselves as the ones doing all the work.
Community going through death in the present Age of the Church Ministry is to be done by the entire body of Christ, all the believers the Baptist People must first see that they have a meaningful contribution before they can feel comfortable participating. Without an interior life of love which draws the Word, the Father and the Spirit to itself, an outlook of faith is impossible (cf. Jn14:23).
A Healthy and Authentic Community must comprise of: Prayer Support Reflection Learning Participation: As the Father sent me, so I send you. ( Jn. 20:21)
A Community Centered in Christ I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (Jn. 14: 6) The faith in every area of Christian and human life is an arduous task which can only be carried out with the help of the Spirit of the Lord who leads the Church to the whole truth (cf. Jn 16:13). The Risen Christ is with us. He is present in the Christian family. He is present in the parish community. He is present wherever "two or three meet in his name". Only the Lord, present among us, can help us to fully understand and carry out his word, he can enlighten minds and warm hearts. Without Christ they can do nothing (cf. Jn 15:5); however, in him who gives strength they can do all.
Mission The parish exists for one reason: to continue the mission of Jesus to bring all to the knowledge of and union with the Father. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. ( Jn. 10: 16). The ultimate purpose of mission is to enable people to share in the communion which exists between the Father and the Son. The disciples are to live in unity with one another, remaining in the Father and the Son, so that the world may know and believe (cf. Jn 17:21-23).
A CALL TO SERVICE
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one anothers feet. ( Jn. 13: 14) It is the challenge of Christ's love for all people, a love that the disciple must reproduce in his own life: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35). Evangelization continues the dialogue of God with humanity and reaches its apex in the person of Jesus Christ. There is also the service of evangelical witness. Working men and women serve Christ in the daily life.
Conclusion Jesus mission, simply stated, was to bring all to knowledge of and union with the Father. Through baptism we are incorporated into the Church and assume her mission with all the consequent responsibilities and privileges of membership. Christ has given us this firm promise: "I am with you always; yes, to the end of time".
THE END For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. ( Rev. 7:17)