Daily homily thoughts, 10/17

Saint Ignatius of Antioch is our saint today.  The first time we hear the word “catholic” used to refer to the community of disciples was by this man in 107 AD.  Jesus broke down every barrier.  First he influenced the lives of his disciples, then the Palestinian Jews (those in the “homeland”), then the Hellenistic Jews and those in the diaspora, then the Samaritans, then the Gentiles.  The word “gentile” simple means “nations.”  Jesus came to touch the lives of everyone, all the nations. The movement he began–it was quite extraordinary.  It became known as a “catholic” movement because it was intended for everybody, not just those in one particular region or ethnic group, and in those days people generally didn’t live too much outside of their groups. The first Jerusalem Council congregated to basically consider: how will we take this message, the message of Christ, to everyone, to all the gentiles, all the lands. The Catholic Church could have no better name. We are the church for everyone and everywhere. The arms are open to everyone, which is why St. Peter’s Square looks like it does: the arms are open to everyone.