Amoris Laetitia 15: A Domestic Church

Our discussion amoris laetitia memeturns to the idea of the domestic church. Meeting in homes for prayer and worship is a Judeo-Christian tradition, not just in the Pauline citations, but going back at least to the Passover.

15. Here too, we can see another aspect of the family. We know that the New Testament speaks of “churches that meet in homes” (cf. 1 Cor 16:19; Rom 16:5; Col 4:15; Philem 2). A family’s living space could turn into a domestic church, a setting for the Eucharist, the presence of Christ seated at its table.

I wonder if Pope Francis is speaking less of home Masses and more a broad experience of the Eucharist. I was thinking of the way the Lord drew in a certain two disciples. As they came to reflect, the realization came: Jesus has been in our midst. The aim I think is less the home as a liturgical setting, but a deeper experience of the presence of Christ in the midst of the family.

We can never forget the image found in the Book of Revelation, where the Lord says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). Here we see a home filled with the presence of God, common prayer and every blessing. This is the meaning of the conclusion of Psalm 128, which we cited above: “Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion!” (Ps 128:4-5).

Remember to check online for the full document Amoris Laetitia. But a question for you readers: why does Pope Francis refer to the “setting for the Eucharist” rather than something like a chapel for the reservation of the Eucharist? What do you suppose that means?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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