The Church and the resurrection power

To sketch the image of the Catholic Church as a rock will not be a mere artistic imagination, but a reality that reflects the foundation upon which the Church is built. Even though that “solid mineral material forming part of the surface of the earth” referred to as rock is breakable, the Church as a rock is indestructible.

In recent times the Catholic Church has suffered various degrees of misfortunes and devastating experiences that left so many speechless. From the sexual abuse scandal that swept through America like wild fire to the kidnaping and killing of Catholic priests and worshipers in some parts of Nigeria; not leaving out the ancient Notre Dame Cathedral that bowed to the destructive power of fire and the recently deadly attack and killings of Catholics and others in Sri Lanka; the faith of the Church was tested.

Failures on the part of the Church and attacks from within and outside is not new to the Catholic Church. Though the Church glory not in her mistakes nor encourages rebelliousness and attacks, she remains the Church the gates of hell cannot prevail against. The faith of the faithful gathered in prayerful song as they watched the ancient Cathedral burn and the resilience of many persecuted Catholics around the world are visible signs of the power at work in the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church has existed for about two thousand years despite the so many attacks and rebellious attitudes from within the Church itself; not even her own mistakes could bring her to her knees, for she is held by the resurrection power of Christ who built the Church on an unshakable rock. Though we cannot pretend not to know that some brethren left the Catholic Church as a result of some faith shaking scandals and for some other very personal reasons, the Church remains the bride of Christ. She is human and divine. It is not about what we can do but about what Christ has done; he has broken the chains of death and rose triumphant, and has given his word that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

We do not make our human weaknesses fictitious but confesses them in repentance as we daily struggle to follow Christ the way, the truth and the life. The Church is human; mistakes, scandals and attacks are bound to come, but we must never let them overpower nor distract our faith in the power of the resurrection. The spiritually fainthearted sees weaknesses and failures in moments of turbulence, but those who operate with the power of the resurrection sees all things work together for good. The God who has kept the Catholic Church for about two thousand years will not abandoned her now.

I am a Catholic, and I am proud to remain a Catholic.

Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA

Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as pastor in two different parishes, he was one time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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