We heard from Christ the wonderful parable of the Merciful Samaritan where a certain man fell in the hands of some robbers who beat him and hurt him then left him half dead on the side of the road. Fortunately a Samaritan passed by and helped him and took him to an inn where this man was saved on the expense and due to the love of the Samaritan. This parable represents a reality. The good Samaritan is Christ, the robber is the devil the hurt man is us and the inn is the Church. Before Christ’s coming in the world the devil had torn our soul and left it half dead. Then Christ came and leaned forward lovingly and mercifully and took us to an inn, to the shrine of our salvation, the Church.
The Holy Fathers say that the Church is Christ’s Mystery. But for making us fully understand this they called the Church `building`, meaning that’s like a solid, well built house and they also called it `the temple of God` where the believers, meaning all of us who are united and believe in Christ, are taught and strengthened. But the clearest and most comprehensive image of the Church is given by saint Paul who says that the Church is `the body of Christ` and invites us to imagine a human body. This is the Church and Christ is the Head of this Body. The rest of this body is represented by us, who are alive and reposed and who were baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. And in the same way the limbs of the body and the head form the man, we, the Church, together with Christ are a tightly integrated body as saint John Chrysostom adds. That’s why the Church hides a great power. It’s the power of Christ Who is its Founder and Guide.
Thus the Church is no enterprise or association or any other human invention and because of this in certain times it was persecuted and warred and slandered and they tried to desecrate it, they hit in the hard foundation stone, Christ, the foundation of the Church.
Saint John Chrysostom also says that the Church is a haven for al, for sinners and righteous. `If you’re a sinner come into the Church to confess your sins. And if you’re righteous come for protecting your virtue because the Church is a haven for both.` The same saint comparing the Church with Noah’s shrine proves the superiority of the Church by the following words: The shrine was for dumb animals and preserved dumb animals and the Church receives dumb men and changes them. If he comes like a fox, it turns him into a sheep. If someone enters like a wolf it makes him lamb. If someone enters like the snake it makes him a dove. If we are a fertile soil and we receive the seeds of the Word we will bear fruits. But if we are fruitless stone it’s not the fault of the Church. If we listen to the words of the Church or not the Church will continue without cease to address to us spiritual chant, healing our wounds` concludes saint John Chrysostom.
When we talk about the Church we have to think immediately that it is the mother that gave us spiritual birth, that it is our escape in the waves and temptations of this life, that it is the ship which has Christ as helmsman, with His Cross as a flag, with the ropes of His love stretched, with the divine commandments as anchor, with the holy angels as sailors and with the prophets and apostles as high sails on the mast, that ship which takes us to our eternal homeland, to the triumphant One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.