2. Understanding the church
as a mystery
~ Models or images are used to better
understand the mystery of the Church.
Because of limited human minds, models,
which are drawn from our own human
environment, situations and experiences, are
used to better grasp the meaning of Church.
A model is a visible image to
represent and illumine the various
aspects of Church’s mystery. They are
the picture of the Church. Models are
the different ways of looking at the
4. Text message of god’s
THE BODY OF CHRIST
The body is one and has many members, but
all members, many though they are, are one
body; and so it is with Christ. It was in one
spirit that all of us, whether Jew or Greek, slave
or free, were baptized into one body. (I Cor
5. Text in context
Paul, in his letters to the Corinthians, used the physical body as
an analogy of the Body of Christ. The metaphor of the Church
as the Body of Christ expresses the unity of the community.
Being in Christ means being a part of the Body of Christ, the
Church. It is a perfect image for the mystery of communion.
The Body of Christ as a metaphor is particularly appropriate for
the Church today existing in a highly-secular world. The risen
Christ is Spirit. Through the Church as the Body of Church as the
Body of Christ, the Risen Christ is present to the world.
6. 5 Basic Dominant Models of the Church
•each model has its own aspects of the church to
help us grow in our understanding of the church.
•Though each model has its individual way of
looking at the church and has its own values,
commitments and priorities, they are mutually
•The 5 dominant models must be taken together,
7. 1.Church as an Institution
•Dominant model of the church in Roman Catholicism
before Vatican II.
•Institutional model of the church as seen by popular
•Considers the church as visible, hierarchical structure
with an emphasis on authority.
•Power is entrusted to ordained ministers
•Lay people have limited role.
8. A. The Hierarchical
Priests and religious
•Highlights the official teaching authority of the church of the popes
•High superiority approach to leadership
•Approach to the church is rigid, authoritarian and clerical
•Lay participation in the church is an extension of the ministry of the
9. The church needs structure and order.
Authority should be understood as service
“In the new testament, Jesus provides the model of an
authority. He is the One who serves. He shares his
authority with his disciples.
10. B. Limitations
•Tends to exaggerate the hierarchical or societal aspect
of the church.
•Also exaggerates the role and importance of the
•Has the propensity to limit the scope of the church to
the Roman Catholic church
11. •Has the tendency to limit the scope of the
church‟s mission to preach the word of God and
the celebration of the sacraments.
•Participation is limited to the cultic life of the
ecclesial life of the church
•limits the identity of the church to the
Kingdom of God
12. C. Institutional Model through the ages
•Dominated the Roman Catholic thinking on the
Church from 1600, at the start of the Reformation.
•Early Christians- “discipleship of equals”. This did not
last beyond the first century. The church adjusted itself
to fit the Greco-Roman culture and the “house-hold
freedom” was forgotten.
•2nd-3rd centuries- authority is with the bishops and
13. •4th-11th centuries- authority got confused with
politics, especially after the Edict of Constantinople.
•Gregorian Reform- the papacy claimed monarchial
•Council of Trent (16th century)- insisted on
•Pope became the “universal bishop” and the
•The center of power was in Rome
14. •Pope became the “universal bishop” and the “Sovereign
•The center of power was in Rome
•The Council of Trent culminated in the formation of
papal primacy in Vatican I (19th century) and in the
encyclicals of Pope Pius XII (20th century)
•Patriarchal pattern was not only used in the
structuring of the house church but also in the universal
15. •Always respect the diversity of those churches,
collegially in decision making and the principle of
•Vatican II, the Church is the whole people of God.
•Church leaders should follow Jesus as the Good
Shepherd in their care of the faithful.
•Placed strong emphasis on the renewed attention to
the need for institutional change as a way of
fulfilling the church‟s sacramental mission.
16. •The Church as Communion
Communion – heart of early communities; one of the basic
models of the Church
Church as communion describes Church as an informal or
interpersonal community of mutual interpersonal
relationship of concern and assistance. It interprets
communion as involving variety in unity, the spirit of
collegiality, participation, and co-responsibility on all
levels in the Church.
17. The concept of communion harmonizes the 3
images of the Church:
1.) Body of Christ
2.) People of God
3.) Community of Disciples – these 3 are the
Interpersonal Models of the Church as
18. A. The Church as People of God
-One of the Interpersonal Models of the Church
-Focuses attention on the Church as a network
of interpersonal relationships, on the Church as
-The inmate relationship between the Church
and the Triune God is expressed
19. -T he Second Vatican Council chose “People of God” as
the key image and principal model of the Church
because the Council wanted to counter-balance a too-
hierarchically perceived image of the Church. It desires
to restore the people‟s legitimate right to participate in
the governing power of the Church. It gives precedence
to the basic reality of the ecclesial community
-With People of God as basic image of the Church, the
Council replaced the pyramid metaphor with that of
the circle within whose embrace all are deemed equal
and no one can claim to have special rights to rule over
20. -Gives primary importance to what is common to all
members of the people of God: human dignity before
any distinction of offices.
-Equality is the ground for mutual relationship in the
-Collegiality is the characteristic linking all Christians
in a unity of equals with one another.
The People of God is a Pauline concept.
•It was St. Paul‟s vision of the church as the New
Testament, where Israel is referred to as the “nation of
God”. The Exodus story is the root metaphor for
Israel‟s establishment as a people of God.
•“The root of God‟s people remains Israel as the
historical people of God.”
•The theological foundation for Israel as God‟s
people is provided in the story of the covenant of
Sinai. The call to people hood is linked with the
22. Leviticus 26: 9-12…
“I will look with favour upon you…and I
will maintain my covenant with you…and I
will walk among you, and will be your
God, and you shall be my people.”
By God‟s own call, Israel understood itself as
the people of God…
23. The people of God is the image of the
• According to the bible, the image of the Church is:
“You, however, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a
holy nation, a people He claims for His own to proclaim
the glorious works of the One who called you from the
darkness into his marvelous light, once you were no
people, but now you are God‟s people” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
• The Church is referred to as the New Israel or as the
People of God of the new covenant.
• The Chruch is the new people of God purchased by the
redemptive work of Christ.
24. •The Christian community is the ‟New People of God or
the True Descendants of Abraham‟ built upon the 12
forefathers of the New People of God in the Holy Spirit,
• Being the chosen people ofGod is for servuce: to
participate more actively in God‟s plan of salvation
meant fo the whole of the creation.
• It doesn‟t say that the people involved are better than
others nor should it give them a sense of superiority.
• Everyone is called to belong to the new people of God
so that, in Christ, they may form one family and one
people of God.
25. • All its faithful are in communion with one another in
• Christians are saved not merely as seperate
individuals but especially by making them into a single
people and through this image, communion is concretely
experienced as a community of belivers who come
together and share with one another the experience of
each in his life of faith from day to day.
• The image of the people of God focuses attention on
the Church as a network of interpersonal relationship.
26. The second Vatican Council
- the “New People of God”, on the road towards
the final goal, the fulfillment of the Kingdom of
- does not seek the fulfillment in the present time,
but expects and prepares for it until the day when
- a growing community and affected by the
weakness and infidelities of its members, therefore
the church is imperfect .
27. -since the Church is the People of God, anyone who
believes in the existence of God is in a way part of
the church. The Protestants, Jewish and even the
Moslems who share faith in Abraham.
- even those who do not know God but seek truth
and goodness with a sincere heart may also share the
salvation promised by God.
28. •Who are the chosen people of God?
-Before the coming of Christ into this earth, the
chosen people only pertained to the Israelites
-During the time of Christ he lifted this
exclusivity and declared that everyone, whatever
faith or race is eligible to the Kingdom of God
- Everyone, every person born into this Earth is
called to become a full member of the People of
29. B. The Church as the Body of Christ
• Interpersonal Model of Communion is the body
-This model refers to the communion of believers
who are united with Christ.
- The mystical or sacramental body.
30. Apostle Paul used this image
to express the unity of
Christians. He compared the
Christian community to a
Human body. In this one
body there are different parts.
Each parts is necessary and
needed by all the other parts
in order to live. All the parts
of the body should be ordered
to the unity of the whole.
31. •Using the anatomical description , Paul
emphasizes the interconnectedness of the
-We belong to one another because we
belong to one body.
- The Church as the Body of Christ points
out that the parts of the body complement
32. “If one member suffers anything, all the
members suffer with him, and if one member is
honored, all the members together rejoice.”
•The main point of this model is the mutual
union, mutual concern, and mutual dependence
of the members of the local community upon
33. • The conception of the Church as Body of Christ
is grounded in the union that exist between the
Christian and the Risen Body of Christ. We are all
baptized by one Spirit into One Body of Christ.
•The Church is the Body of Christ on earth.
Through the Church, God remains incarnate in
34. •The Body of Christ is Paul‟s most powerful
metaphor for the Church.
•The celebration of the common meal or the
Lord‟s Supper was being pulled apart by factions
formed along social and economic lines.
•Another factor that contribute to the division in
community was the excessive value being placed
on the charismatic/spiritual gifts.
35. •Paul used the image of the Body of Christ to
expalin why and how the members should use their
different spiritual gifts so that they can exist and
work together for the common goods. Charisma are
to be used for the service of others and for the
building up the Christian community.
36. •The first Christian faced similar problems that
confront Christians in the 21st Century. These are
signs of human frailties or weakness among the
members of the Christian community.
•The need of the Chruch for the Spirit is well
expressed in the 3rd Eucharist Prayer: “Grant that
we who are nourished by His Body and Blood
may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become
One Body, One Spirit in Christ.”
37. •The Unity in the Body of Christ is symbolized
by one bread of the Eucharist. It is in that one
Body that Christ has reconciled us to the Father
by His death. The members are one because they
baptized by one Spirit into one body.
•In he Church, nobody is so poor as to have
nothing to give and nobody is so rich as to have
nothing to receive.
38. •Jesus has chosen th Chruch as his Body,
all who recognized that the Church is the
Body of Christ are called to be part of that
39. •The Church as Sacrament
T he Church as mystery is further clarified and
develops by the notion of sacrament .The Church,
which is mystery-grounded in God‟s own Divine
mystery, is also a sacrament, a visible reality in
history as a sacrament; it refers to the human and
visible structure. Theologians call the human and
visible form “sacrament” since it emphasizes on
what is visible.
40. The Church is the visible form of the sacrament of the
Triune God‟s presence among us – the mediator of God‟s
salvific activity on our behalf. Church as a sacrament
pleasantly combines the divine or spiritual and he human or
visible aspects of the Church. It is further clarified and
developed the nature of the Church as mystery
•Since God is Spirit, He reveals Himself to humanity
primarily through signs and symbols. The Church is a symbol
and instrument of God‟s presence on earth and movement
through time .After Jesus‟ ascension
41. to his father, the Church became the visible symbol of
God‟s continued presence among us. Through in an
imperfect way, the Church is the human experience of
the Divine. And through the church, God continuously
communicates His presence and truths to all.
•The Church as a Sacrament of Christ
The Church is understood as the visible manifestation of
the grace of Christ in human community .The
Constitution on the Church, 1965 declared that by virtue
of its relationship to Christ, the Church is a kind of
sacrament of intimate union with God and the unity of
all mankind; that she is a sign and instrument of such
union and unity.
42. The sacramental model brings home the idea
that the Church must be a sign of the
continuing strength of the grace of Christ and of
hope for the redemption that he promises.
•With the visible structure of the Church, it is
a sacrament of Christ, representing Him, making
His saving activity present to all persons of
every age, race and condition. The Church makes
Christ present and tangible in our world until
he comes again.
43. As sacrament of Christ, she signifies and affects
the unity of humanity, one with the other and all
with God in Jesus Christ. It is the first purpose of
the church to be the sacrament of the inner union
of humankind with ,leading humankind towards
its final destiny: the fullness of God‟s Kingdom.
44. •The Church as servant
The Church as servant
- The church as servant focuses on the service of
the church to the world along human promotion.
The Church mission
-Is to be of help to all men.
The service model points up the:
- Urgency of making the church contribute to the
transformation of the secular life of man, and of
45. -impregnating human society with all the values
of the kingdom of God.
The servant model of the Church is relatively new
model, based on the biblical image of Israel, and
later of Christ, as Servant of God/
Like Christ, the Church is relatively new model,
based on the biblical image of Israel, and later of
Christ, as Servant of God.
46. Like Christ, the Church announces the coming of
the kingdom not only in the word, through
preaching and proclamation, but more importantly
in work, in her ministry of reconciliation, binding
up wounds, suffering service, and healing.
“As the Lord was the “Man for others; so must the
Church be the community for others.”
47. 2. The church as a
community of disciples
The church as Community of Disciples is a variant of the
communion model. It calls attention to the ongoing relationship
of the Church to Christ (Dulles, 1987, 206). The model of the
Church as a Community of Disciples has a firm spiritual basis. It
is rooted in the earthly ministry of Jesus.
48. The community of the disciples of Jesus consists of the men and
women who loved Him, followed Him, and sought to live
according to His teachings. The primitive or early Church is
often called the “community of the disciples” in the Acts of the
Apostles. The ideal of discipleship is being with Jesus and
sharing in His ministry of proclaiming the Kingdom of God (in
words and in deeds) and bringing His healing power to those in
Jesus contrasts His ideal of greatness with the patterns of
leadership that prevailed in the Greco-Roman world (and in the
world today) where greatness is understood as having power
over others. In the Christian community, greatness is measured
in terms of service of others and leaders are to be the “slave of
49. From the life of ministry of Jesus, we learn the core values that
characterize a disciple of Jesus which can be applied in any age
and place. These are firm dedication to God’s Kingdom, a
simple lifestyle in the service of that mission, the unwillingness
to subordinate or forgo human ties and physical comforts, and
the assurance of opposition and suffering for the sake of the
gospel (Rausch, 2005, 153), similar to what Christ experienced
in His time.
50. What makes a group of
people a church?
What makes a group of people a Church is primarily
The call to discipleship is a vocation to communion and mission
and its communion is for mission. This mission is the service to
the poor and the needy. It is sent to build up the Church, and to
serve the Kingdom by permeating he world with Gospel values
to unite all creation with Christ.
51. The Church must be seen as the community of those who have
made it their life commitment to follow the Lord and as such
build a community that is called Church (Fuellenbach, 2000,
117). Without a community we cannot live discipleship because
only community can provide the atmosphere, the concern, the
mutual love and the experience of the Risen Christ and alive
that will enable the disciple to live true discipleship
52. In the community of disciples of Christ, we follow Him not as
separate individuals. This common discipleship binds us
together in equal dignity and in common mission as a Christian
community. Discipleship as a communal experience is what we
do with others and for others in imitation of Christ. It is through
the community of disciples that we reach our objective of
becoming the Church of the poor. Here, laity is the center of the
life and mission of the Church.
53. 3. The Church as Prophet
Congregation gathered together by the Word and formed by
the Word of God.
56. Responsibilities of the Church
Spreading the Good News of the Gospel,
of healing and consolidating the
Continue to herald the gospel and to
move men to put their faith in Jesus.
57. In this model, the Church…
• Emphasizes faith and proclamation over
interpersonal relations and mystical
• Tackles on an authoritarian role, proclaiming
the Gospel as a divine message which the
world must humbly listen to (Dulles, 1987,
1.The Sacrament of Unity of the human race.
2.It is Christ‟s instrument for the salvation of all, “the
universal salvation”. The salvation brought by Christ
reaches us through the Church.
3.The Church is the mediator of God‟s salvific activity on
4.The Church leads people towards God and continues
Christ‟s mission of uniting humanity with God and with
5.According to the universal sacrament of salvation, the
Church is the light of the world and salt of the Earth.
60. Mission of the Church:
1.The mission of the Church is to dialogue and
collaborate with all the people of good will.
2.The Church is called to manifest and foster the
Kingdom of God.
Sacrament – The term “sacrament” designates the
communion between the invisible divine and the
visible human element in the Church.
61. •Advantages of thinking the Church as
sacrament are that:
•It brings together and harmoniously combines the
visible and the spiritual aspects of the Church.
•It directly relates the Church to non-Catholics.
62. •A CHURCH FOR THE POOR:
- a church that stands with the people and is in solidarity
with the poor, that seeks justice that is communal. This
was not meant to create a parallel church but rather an
attempt to reform the whole institution as one,
-The understanding of the Church of the Poor as it is
expounded by the church documents. It traces its origin,
content, foundation, and practical application
admonishes by the Church herself.
-Thus, the Church of the Poor is an identity of the whole
mystical Body of Christ. It has a
rich history and development.
63. -It is called to witness Jesus of Nazareth, who “for
your sake he made himself poor though he was rich, so
that you might, so the Church is called to follow the
same path if she is to communicate the fruits of
salvation to men.” become rich by his poverty.”
-The Council Fathers reiterate the importance of
becoming witnesses of Christ, they say, that “just as
Christ carried out the work of redemption in poverty
and oppression, so the Church is called to follow the
same path if she is to communicate the fruits of
salvation to men.”
64. -The “Church of the Poor” is not just a concept that the
Church adopted and implemented. It is a result of
contemplation on the very mission of Christ himself.
- A call to a deeper practice of Christian living
It is the living of the good news that Christ preached to
his disciples down to our generation. It is the witnessing
of the gospel values wherever one is. It is a call of God
which we are expected to respond..
65. •A DUTY --which God assigns to the Church in
order to carry out the mission given by Christ.
To spread the word of God to the ends of the world
especially to the less privileged in the society.
To be in solidarity with poor, the deep obligations of
Christians and of the Church of the Poor.
•A Call to Responsibility.
to help others in need especially those experiencing
abandonment, rejection, neglect, and are disregarded in
66. •THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATION:
-God loves us, we the humans are the clearest reflection of
God in the world.
- His love never tarnished even by the failure or sin of
-God always protects those who are weak and suffering, the
poor and abandoned. He has a special attention to them.
He is the first one to care about his people.
- In PCP II, It tells us that it is not God’s will that any
of his children should lack the necessities of a decent
living. MATERIAL POVERTY & DEPRIVATION is
a contradiction to God‟s will.
67. •PREFERENTIAL FOR THE POOR.
-As followers of Christ, we are challenged to make a
fundamental „option for the poor‟ to speak for the
voiceless, to defend the defenseless, to assess life styles,
policies, and social institutions in terms of their impact on
-This „option for the poor‟ does not mean pitting one group
against another, but rather, strengthening the whole
community by assisting those who are the most
68. -As Christians, we are called to respond to the needs
of all our brothers and sisters, but those with the
greatest needs require the greatest response.
To live simply , detach ourselves from material
possessions & share it with the needy.
To take only what is enough so that others can have
enough to sustain a healthy life.
69. Group members:
Kim On You