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1.1. The Church as ekklesia

* A popular Greek word for church is, kyriake (house of God), which in turn comes
from kyriakon (house of the master). But the common Greek word is ekklesia, taken over from a
hebrew expression qahal Jaweh.


3-fold meaning

1. Act of assembling and the assembled community itself

2. The total community of the people of God

3. The new, true Israel, and not simply the existing community but also

The act of assembling the community & the assembled community.

The word ekklesia acquired a more definite meaning as time went on. The original community in
Jerusalem considered itself as the true and proper People of God as the true Israel when the Jewish
people did not accept the Christian message.

Finally, ekklesia denotes the Church of Jesus Christ formed in Jerusalem Jerusalem was the mother
Church. Therefore, ekklesia designates the People of God as a whole and the manifestation of these
people in a particular place.

1.2. The Church as Mystery (CFC 1356).

* The word mystery as applied to the Church does not indicate simply that a thing is unknowable or
hidden. Rather, it points to a transcendent, divine reality that has to do with salvation and that is some
sensible way revealed and manifested.

* To affirm that the Church is a mystery means, FIRST, that it is a reality imbued with the hidden
presence of God always open to new and greater exploration. SECOND, it has a unique relation to
God himself and with all of us who are called to salvation as a people.

1.3. The Church as Sacrament (CFC 1366).

* By her relationship with Christ, the Church is both a sacramental sign and an instrument of intimate
union with God, and of the unity of all mankind (GS 42; LG 1).

1. union with God

2. unity among men

3. salvation


According to Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constition on the Church, 1964) art. 4, When the work which
the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of
Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church, and that, consequently, those who
believe might have access through Christ in one Spirit to the Father.

The Holy Spirit has a distinct mission which cannot be equaled with that of the Word Incarnate.
While Christ established an objective reality of grace and truth, of salvation and revelation, the Holy
Spirit realizes it within each of us.

it is the story of the outpouring of the Spirit upon the waiting disciples(Acts 2:1-13) it does not
only renewed the personal lives of the individuals, it recreated a new community of shared life and
work, new fellowship in the mission of the Gospel to be proclaimed. Pentecost is the starting point of
the history of the Holy Spirit, which is also the history of the early Christian Churches. According to
Wostyn, what we need in order to be Church, is to be disciples of Jesus. We are to continue living as
disciples within a community, responding in a creative way to the challenges of our time and society.
In the New Testament vision, discipleship is primarily what makes a group of people Church. We need
six dimensions to be able to speak of Church:

1. a confession of faith 4. prayer & sacraments

2. fellowship 5. ministries

3. the Word of God 6. mission

THE FOUR MARKS OF THE CHURCH (Characteristics of the Church)

1. The Church as One: First, from her very source the One living God in three persons;
Second, in her founder Jesus Christ who came to redeem and unify the whole human race. He
prayed to his Father that all maybe one (Jn.17:21). He also instituted the Eucharist which
both signifies and effects the unity of the Church. In short, the Church is one in the confession
of one faith received from the apostles and common celebration of divine worship, especially
the sacraments.

2. The Church as Holy: First, because Christ the Founder loved the Church as His bride and
gave himself up for her. Second, because the Holy Spirit graces her with the fullness of the
means of salvation & holiness. The Church holiness is a process of growing, a Paschal
pilgrimage.All in the Church are called to holiness.

3. The Church as Catholic: Catholic means universal, complete, all-embracing. It applies to

the Church in two ways, First, the Church is worldwide, sent to all peoples Second, being
endowed with the fullness of the means for salvation, she announces the whole, true faith.

4. The Church as Apostolic: 3 ways: First, because Jesus Christ grounded her permanently on
the foundation of the Apostles (Eph, 2:20); Second, she guards and transmits their teaching
and witness (confirm, Mt. 28:19-20); and thirdly, she continues to be instructed, sanctified
and guided by the apostles through their successors. (CCC 857).

(Readings: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Art. 9, the whole paragraphs 2 3,)