Lesson 4MODELS OF THE CHURCH :HOWTHEY HELP US BETTERUNDERSTAND HER DEEPERREALITIES
Understanding the churchas a mystery ~ Models or images are used to betterunderstand the mystery of the Church.Because of limited human minds, models,which are drawn from our own humanenvironment, situations and experiences, areused to better grasp the meaning of Church.
modelA model is a visible image torepresent and illumine the variousaspects of Church’s mystery. They arethe picture of the Church. Models arethe different ways of looking at theChurch.
Text message of god’sloveTHE BODY OF CHRISTThe body is one and has many members, butall members, many though they are, are onebody; and so it is with Christ. It was in onespirit that all of us, whether Jew or Greek, slaveor free, were baptized into one body. (I Cor12:12-13)
Text in contextPaul, in his letters to the Corinthians, used the physical body asan analogy of the Body of Christ. The metaphor of the Churchas the Body of Christ expresses the unity of the community.Being in Christ means being a part of the Body of Christ, theChurch. It is a perfect image for the mystery of communion.The Body of Christ as a metaphor is particularly appropriate forthe Church today existing in a highly-secular world. The risenChrist is Spirit. Through the Church as the Body of Church as theBody of Christ, the Risen Christ is present to the world.
5 Basic Dominant Models of the Church•each model has its own aspects of the church tohelp us grow in our understanding of the church.•Though each model has its individual way oflooking at the church and has its own values,commitments and priorities, they are mutuallycomplementary.•The 5 dominant models must be taken together,not individually.
1.Church as an Institution•Dominant model of the church in Roman Catholicismbefore Vatican II.•Institutional model of the church as seen by popularmind.•Considers the church as visible, hierarchical structurewith an emphasis on authority.•“hierarchically-structured society”•Power is entrusted to ordained ministers•Lay people have limited role.
A. The Hierarchical Pope Bishops Priests and religious Laity•Highlights the official teaching authority of the church of the popesand bishops•High superiority approach to leadership•Approach to the church is rigid, authoritarian and clerical•Lay participation in the church is an extension of the ministry of theordained
The church needs structure and order. Authority should be understood as service“In the new testament, Jesus provides the model of an authority. He is the One who serves. He shares his authority with his disciples.
B. Limitations•Tends to exaggerate the hierarchical or societal aspectof the church.•Also exaggerates the role and importance of theordained•Has the propensity to limit the scope of the church tothe Roman Catholic church
•Has the tendency to limit the scope of thechurch‟s mission to preach the word of God andthe celebration of the sacraments.•Participation is limited to the cultic life of theecclesial life of the church•limits the identity of the church to theKingdom of God
C. Institutional Model through the ages•Dominated the Roman Catholic thinking on theChurch from 1600, at the start of the Reformation.•Early Christians- “discipleship of equals”. This did notlast beyond the first century. The church adjusted itselfto fit the Greco-Roman culture and the “house-holdfreedom” was forgotten.•2nd-3rd centuries- authority is with the bishops andpresbyters.
•4th-11th centuries- authority got confused withpolitics, especially after the Edict of Constantinople.•Gregorian Reform- the papacy claimed monarchialauthority.•Council of Trent (16th century)- insisted onHierarchical authority.•Pope became the “universal bishop” and the“Sovereign Pontiff”•The center of power was in Rome
•Pope became the “universal bishop” and the “SovereignPontiff”•The center of power was in Rome•The Council of Trent culminated in the formation ofpapal primacy in Vatican I (19th century) and in theencyclicals of Pope Pius XII (20th century)•Patriarchal pattern was not only used in thestructuring of the house church but also in the universalchurch.
•Always respect the diversity of those churches,collegially in decision making and the principle ofsubsidiary.•Vatican II, the Church is the whole people of God.•Church leaders should follow Jesus as the GoodShepherd in their care of the faithful.•Placed strong emphasis on the renewed attention tothe need for institutional change as a way offulfilling the church‟s sacramental mission.
•The Church as Communion Communion – heart of early communities; one of the basic models of the Church Church as communion describes Church as an informal or interpersonal community of mutual interpersonal relationship of concern and assistance. It interprets communion as involving variety in unity, the spirit of collegiality, participation, and co-responsibility on all levels in the Church.
The concept of communion harmonizes the 3images of the Church:1.) Body of Christ2.) People of God3.) Community of Disciples – these 3 are theInterpersonal Models of the Church asCommunion.
A. The Church as People of God-One of the Interpersonal Models of the Churchas Communion-Focuses attention on the Church as a networkof interpersonal relationships, on the Church ascommunity-The inmate relationship between the Churchand the Triune God is expressed
-T he Second Vatican Council chose “People of God” asthe key image and principal model of the Churchbecause the Council wanted to counter-balance a too-hierarchically perceived image of the Church. It desiresto restore the people‟s legitimate right to participate inthe governing power of the Church. It gives precedenceto the basic reality of the ecclesial community-With People of God as basic image of the Church, theCouncil replaced the pyramid metaphor with that ofthe circle within whose embrace all are deemed equaland no one can claim to have special rights to rule overothers.
-Gives primary importance to what is common to allmembers of the people of God: human dignity beforeany distinction of offices.-Equality is the ground for mutual relationship in theChurch.-Collegiality is the characteristic linking all Christiansin a unity of equals with one another.The People of God is a Pauline concept.•It was St. Paul‟s vision of the church as the NewTestament, where Israel is referred to as the “nation ofGod”. The Exodus story is the root metaphor forIsrael‟s establishment as a people of God.
Harrington:•“The root of God‟s people remains Israel as thehistorical people of God.”•The theological foundation for Israel as God‟speople is provided in the story of the covenant ofSinai. The call to people hood is linked with theCovenant.
Leviticus 26: 9-12…“I will look with favour upon you…and Iwill maintain my covenant with you…and Iwill walk among you, and will be yourGod, and you shall be my people.”By God‟s own call, Israel understood itself asthe people of God…
The people of God is the image of the Church• According to the bible, the image of the Church is:“You, however, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, aholy nation, a people He claims for His own to proclaimthe glorious works of the One who called you from thedarkness into his marvelous light, once you were nopeople, but now you are God‟s people” (1 Peter 2:9-10)• The Church is referred to as the New Israel or as thePeople of God of the new covenant.• The Chruch is the new people of God purchased by theredemptive work of Christ.
•The Christian community is the ‟New People of God orthe True Descendants of Abraham‟ built upon the 12forefathers of the New People of God in the Holy Spirit,the Apostles.• Being the chosen people ofGod is for servuce: toparticipate more actively in God‟s plan of salvationmeant fo the whole of the creation.• It doesn‟t say that the people involved are better thanothers nor should it give them a sense of superiority.• Everyone is called to belong to the new people of Godso that, in Christ, they may form one family and onepeople of God.
• All its faithful are in communion with one another inthe Spirit.• Christians are saved not merely as seperateindividuals but especially by making them into a singlepeople and through this image, communion is concretelyexperienced as a community of belivers who cometogether and share with one another the experience ofeach in his life of faith from day to day.• The image of the people of God focuses attention onthe Church as a network of interpersonal relationship.
The second Vatican Council•The Church- the “New People of God”, on the road towardsthe final goal, the fulfillment of the Kingdom ofGod- does not seek the fulfillment in the present time,but expects and prepares for it until the day whenJesus returns- a growing community and affected by theweakness and infidelities of its members, thereforethe church is imperfect .
-since the Church is the People of God, anyone whobelieves in the existence of God is in a way part ofthe church. The Protestants, Jewish and even theMoslems who share faith in Abraham.- even those who do not know God but seek truthand goodness with a sincere heart may also share thesalvation promised by God.
•Who are the chosen people of God?-Before the coming of Christ into this earth, thechosen people only pertained to the Israelites(OId Testament)-During the time of Christ he lifted thisexclusivity and declared that everyone, whateverfaith or race is eligible to the Kingdom of God- Everyone, every person born into this Earth iscalled to become a full member of the People ofGod.
B. The Church as the Body of Christ• Interpersonal Model of Communion is the bodyof Christ. -This model refers to the communion of believerswho are united with Christ. - The mystical or sacramental body.
Apostle Paul used this imageto express the unity ofChristians. He compared theChristian community to aHuman body. In this onebody there are different parts.Each parts is necessary andneeded by all the other partsin order to live. All the partsof the body should be orderedto the unity of the whole.
•Using the anatomical description , Paulemphasizes the interconnectedness of themembers: -We belong to one another because webelong to one body.- The Church as the Body of Christ pointsout that the parts of the body complementone another.
“If one member suffers anything, all themembers suffer with him, and if one member ishonored, all the members together rejoice.”•The main point of this model is the mutualunion, mutual concern, and mutual dependenceof the members of the local community uponone amother.
• The conception of the Church as Body of Christis grounded in the union that exist between theChristian and the Risen Body of Christ. We are allbaptized by one Spirit into One Body of Christ.•The Church is the Body of Christ on earth.Through the Church, God remains incarnate inhistory.
•The Body of Christ is Paul‟s most powerfulmetaphor for the Church.•The celebration of the common meal or theLord‟s Supper was being pulled apart by factionsformed along social and economic lines.•Another factor that contribute to the division incommunity was the excessive value being placedon the charismatic/spiritual gifts.
•Paul used the image of the Body of Christ toexpalin why and how the members should use theirdifferent spiritual gifts so that they can exist andwork together for the common goods. Charisma areto be used for the service of others and for thebuilding up the Christian community.
•The first Christian faced similar problems thatconfront Christians in the 21st Century. These aresigns of human frailties or weakness among themembers of the Christian community.•The need of the Chruch for the Spirit is wellexpressed in the 3rd Eucharist Prayer: “Grant thatwe who are nourished by His Body and Bloodmay be filled with his Holy Spirit, and becomeOne Body, One Spirit in Christ.”
•The Unity in the Body of Christ is symbolizedby one bread of the Eucharist. It is in that oneBody that Christ has reconciled us to the Fatherby His death. The members are one because theybaptized by one Spirit into one body.•In he Church, nobody is so poor as to havenothing to give and nobody is so rich as to havenothing to receive.
•Jesus has chosen th Chruch as his Body,all who recognized that the Church is theBody of Christ are called to be part of thatChurch.
•The Church as SacramentT he Church as mystery is further clarified anddevelops by the notion of sacrament .The Church,which is mystery-grounded in God‟s own Divinemystery, is also a sacrament, a visible reality inhistory as a sacrament; it refers to the human andvisible structure. Theologians call the human andvisible form “sacrament” since it emphasizes onwhat is visible.
The Church is the visible form of the sacrament of theTriune God‟s presence among us – the mediator of God‟ssalvific activity on our behalf. Church as a sacramentpleasantly combines the divine or spiritual and he human orvisible aspects of the Church. It is further clarified anddeveloped the nature of the Church as mystery•Since God is Spirit, He reveals Himself to humanityprimarily through signs and symbols. The Church is a symboland instrument of God‟s presence on earth and movementthrough time .After Jesus‟ ascension
to his father, the Church became the visible symbol ofGod‟s continued presence among us. Through in animperfect way, the Church is the human experience ofthe Divine. And through the church, God continuouslycommunicates His presence and truths to all.•The Church as a Sacrament of ChristThe Church is understood as the visible manifestation ofthe grace of Christ in human community .TheConstitution on the Church, 1965 declared that by virtueof its relationship to Christ, the Church is a kind ofsacrament of intimate union with God and the unity ofall mankind; that she is a sign and instrument of suchunion and unity.
The sacramental model brings home the ideathat the Church must be a sign of thecontinuing strength of the grace of Christ and ofhope for the redemption that he promises.•With the visible structure of the Church, it isa sacrament of Christ, representing Him, makingHis saving activity present to all persons ofevery age, race and condition. The Church makesChrist present and tangible in our world untilhe comes again.
As sacrament of Christ, she signifies and affectsthe unity of humanity, one with the other and allwith God in Jesus Christ. It is the first purpose ofthe church to be the sacrament of the inner unionof humankind with ,leading humankind towardsits final destiny: the fullness of God‟s Kingdom.
•The Church as servantThe Church as servant- The church as servant focuses on the service ofthe church to the world along human promotion.The Church mission-Is to be of help to all men.The service model points up the:- Urgency of making the church contribute to thetransformation of the secular life of man, and of
-impregnating human society with all the valuesof the kingdom of God.The servant model of the Church is relatively newmodel, based on the biblical image of Israel, andlater of Christ, as Servant of God/Like Christ, the Church is relatively new model,based on the biblical image of Israel, and later ofChrist, as Servant of God.
Like Christ, the Church announces the coming ofthe kingdom not only in the word, throughpreaching and proclamation, but more importantlyin work, in her ministry of reconciliation, bindingup wounds, suffering service, and healing.“As the Lord was the “Man for others; so must theChurch be the community for others.”
2. The church as a community of disciplesThe church as Community of Disciples is a variant of thecommunion model. It calls attention to the ongoing relationshipof the Church to Christ (Dulles, 1987, 206). The model of theChurch as a Community of Disciples has a firm spiritual basis. Itis rooted in the earthly ministry of Jesus.
The community of the disciples of Jesus consists of the men andwomen who loved Him, followed Him, and sought to liveaccording to His teachings. The primitive or early Church isoften called the “community of the disciples” in the Acts of theApostles. The ideal of discipleship is being with Jesus andsharing in His ministry of proclaiming the Kingdom of God (inwords and in deeds) and bringing His healing power to those inneed.Jesus contrasts His ideal of greatness with the patterns ofleadership that prevailed in the Greco-Roman world (and in theworld today) where greatness is understood as having powerover others. In the Christian community, greatness is measuredin terms of service of others and leaders are to be the “slave ofall” (10:44).
From the life of ministry of Jesus, we learn the core values thatcharacterize a disciple of Jesus which can be applied in any ageand place. These are firm dedication to God’s Kingdom, asimple lifestyle in the service of that mission, the unwillingnessto subordinate or forgo human ties and physical comforts, andthe assurance of opposition and suffering for the sake of thegospel (Rausch, 2005, 153), similar to what Christ experiencedin His time.
What makes a group ofpeople a church?What makes a group of people a Church is primarilydiscipleship.The call to discipleship is a vocation to communion and missionand its communion is for mission. This mission is the service tothe poor and the needy. It is sent to build up the Church, and toserve the Kingdom by permeating he world with Gospel valuesto unite all creation with Christ.
The Church must be seen as the community of those who havemade it their life commitment to follow the Lord and as suchbuild a community that is called Church (Fuellenbach, 2000,117). Without a community we cannot live discipleship becauseonly community can provide the atmosphere, the concern, themutual love and the experience of the Risen Christ and alivethat will enable the disciple to live true discipleship(Fuellenbach, 117-119).
In the community of disciples of Christ, we follow Him not asseparate individuals. This common discipleship binds ustogether in equal dignity and in common mission as a Christiancommunity. Discipleship as a communal experience is what wedo with others and for others in imitation of Christ. It is throughthe community of disciples that we reach our objective ofbecoming the Church of the poor. Here, laity is the center of thelife and mission of the Church.
3. The Church as ProphetCongregation gathered together by the Word and formed by the Word of God.
Stresses the…Renewal of the Church based on God’s Word and the teachings of the Church.
Mission of the ChurchProclaim• Heard• Believed• Commissioned
Responsibilities of the ChurchSpreading the Good News of the Gospel, of healing and consolidating the human community. Continue to herald the gospel and to move men to put their faith in Jesus.
In this model, the Church…• Emphasizes faith and proclamation over interpersonal relations and mystical communion.• Tackles on an authoritarian role, proclaiming the Gospel as a divine message which the world must humbly listen to (Dulles, 1987, 89).
•Church, the Universal Sacrament ofSalvationCommunion – It is the union of people withGod through Church.
Church:1.The Sacrament of Unity of the human race.2.It is Christ‟s instrument for the salvation of all, “theuniversal salvation”. The salvation brought by Christreaches us through the Church.3.The Church is the mediator of God‟s salvific activity onour behalf.4.The Church leads people towards God and continuesChrist‟s mission of uniting humanity with God and withone another.5.According to the universal sacrament of salvation, theChurch is the light of the world and salt of the Earth.
Mission of the Church:1.The mission of the Church is to dialogue andcollaborate with all the people of good will.2.The Church is called to manifest and foster theKingdom of God.Sacrament – The term “sacrament” designates thecommunion between the invisible divine and thevisible human element in the Church.
•Advantages of thinking the Church assacrament are that:•It brings together and harmoniously combines thevisible and the spiritual aspects of the Church.•It directly relates the Church to non-Catholics.
•A CHURCH FOR THE POOR:- a church that stands with the people and is in solidaritywith the poor, that seeks justice that is communal. Thiswas not meant to create a parallel church but rather anattempt to reform the whole institution as one,-The understanding of the Church of the Poor as it isexpounded by the church documents. It traces its origin,content, foundation, and practical applicationadmonishes by the Church herself.-Thus, the Church of the Poor is an identity of the wholemystical Body of Christ. It has arich history and development.
-It is called to witness Jesus of Nazareth, who “foryour sake he made himself poor though he was rich, sothat you might, so the Church is called to follow thesame path if she is to communicate the fruits ofsalvation to men.” become rich by his poverty.”-The Council Fathers reiterate the importance ofbecoming witnesses of Christ, they say, that “just asChrist carried out the work of redemption in povertyand oppression, so the Church is called to follow thesame path if she is to communicate the fruits ofsalvation to men.”
-The “Church of the Poor” is not just a concept that theChurch adopted and implemented. It is a result ofcontemplation on the very mission of Christ himself.- A call to a deeper practice of Christian livingIt is the living of the good news that Christ preached tohis disciples down to our generation. It is the witnessingof the gospel values wherever one is. It is a call of Godwhich we are expected to respond..-
•A DUTY --which God assigns to the Church inorder to carry out the mission given by Christ. To spread the word of God to the ends of the worldespecially to the less privileged in the society. To be in solidarity with poor, the deep obligations ofChristians and of the Church of the Poor. •A Call to Responsibility. to help others in need especially those experiencingabandonment, rejection, neglect, and are disregarded inthe community.
•THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATION:-God loves us, we the humans are the clearest reflection ofGod in the world.- His love never tarnished even by the failure or sin ofhumanity.-God always protects those who are weak and suffering, thepoor and abandoned. He has a special attention to them.He is the first one to care about his people. - In PCP II, It tells us that it is not God’s will that any of his children should lack the necessities of a decent living. MATERIAL POVERTY & DEPRIVATION is a contradiction to God‟s will.
•PREFERENTIAL FOR THE POOR.-As followers of Christ, we are challenged to make afundamental „option for the poor‟ to speak for thevoiceless, to defend the defenseless, to assess life styles,policies, and social institutions in terms of their impact onthe poor.-This „option for the poor‟ does not mean pitting one groupagainst another, but rather, strengthening the wholecommunity by assisting those who are the mostvulnerable.
-As Christians, we are called to respond to the needsof all our brothers and sisters, but those with thegreatest needs require the greatest response.To live simply , detach ourselves from materialpossessions & share it with the needy.To take only what is enough so that others can haveenough to sustain a healthy life.
Group members:Abby AvellanosaNina BacaniAlex BeltranYza CabaseKarla KasalPatricia DomanaisEunice ForteaMary FranciscoAxel FrencilloAisha KasanKim On YouKenneth LabastidaKirei LasamRobynne Lopez
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