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God established the Church as a colony of heaven on earth, which he inhabits and in which he clothes himself, continuing the rescue mission of Christ.

On Wednesday of Holy Week 2020, Monsignor James P. Shea delivered this fourth of seven reflections on the gift of faith, considering the role of the Church in God’s surprising rescue mission.


The current visible world will come to an end completely, but the invisible world of which each of us is part will last forever. As creatures on trial, we have been given the opportunity through God’s mercy to work out our salvation individually and in community, in fear and trembling.

Having redeemed us by means of the cross, God then established a society in the midst of a darkened world – a kind of colony of heaven that he inhabits and with which he clothes himself. He gives to all who follow his lead a share of his own life along with great responsibilities and notable powers to continue the work of healing and saving the human race. The fortunes of that society in the ongoing story of God bringing humans from slavery to divinity is the central drama of humanity, compared with which the fall of nations and civilizations is of no lasting importance.

An audio version of this Holy Week retreat on faith is available ​on our podcast channels: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

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