Friday, January 04, 2013

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

Eleven pipers piping - eleven faithful apostles. The fidelity of the apostles is of great importance to the Church. It is upon the rock of the faith of the apostles that the whole Church stands. It is by the apostles that the Church has grown. It is through the blood of the apostles that people have seen the sincerity and determination with which simple men have been fired.

God has given the gift of Apostleship to the Church not only to form its backbone, but also to generate its growth. Apostles have been granted a method of generating apostles through Consecration and Ordination, and the Church continues its faith precisely because of the fidelity of the original 11 Apostles. Yet from their apostleship comes the apostleship of St Paul, the great missionary bishops such as St Barnabas, the great evangelists such as St Luke, the great Mystics such as St John the Divine.

The call to become an apostle or a successor of the apostles is not a job for the individual but rather a gift to the Church and it is only in the light of the Church that the call to apostleship can be recognised. To claim apostleship as a right is to miss the point. To see it as a Sacrament Machine is also to miss the point. Indeed, to equate it with any specific task is to miss the point because it neglects the ontological character of Ordination.

While not every Christian is called to be an Apostle, we all have ownership of apostleship through our Baptism into Christ. We find our apostleship by listening to Christ in Scripture, in the Church, through the Apostles. We link back to those who heard, saw, and touched the Incarnate God through the unbroken chain that the Incarnate God has given us in the Succession. We owe it to ourselves as God's Creation to follow Him in fidelity.

It is the work and teaching of the apostolic faith that we are told of the fruits of the Spirit which lead to the beatitudes borne from cultivating the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in addition to the gifts of Creation and Life under the Law of God announced in the Gospels in which the Glorious Trinity expounds His twofold covenant ratified in the blood of Christ Crucified. Apostleship is our way of responding to His True Love.

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