The humanity and the divinity of the Church are highlighted today.
The humanity we see in the first reading. The fervent Jewish converts are
convinced that the new Gentile converts must also be circumcised so that
the heritage of the Holy People of God is fully honored, even in the flesh.
The division was so serious and acrimonious that a mini-church council
was held in Jerusalem to solve the issue. The answer was that the Gentiles
and Jews both are saved by a New Covenant of grace in the Holy Spirit.
The physical sign of the former covenant does not have to be passed on.
The divinity of the Church is revealed in the second reading from Revelation 21. A new
city is born. New York is no longer the “greatest city on earth.” Neither is Sydney,
Australia, nor Dubai’s Emirate the most gleaming city in the world. It is the Heavenly
Jerusalem--the destiny of all those who believe in and are baptized into Christ Jesus the Lord. This city is not
dominated by the world’s longest bridge nor tallest building, but by the glory of
the Throne of the Lamb and its halo which lights the entire city.
Jesus today declares to us that our faith community here and around the
world is the place of divine-human presence and glory: “Whoever loves
me will keep my word and my Father will love them,
and we will come to that one and make our dwelling with them.”