Because Christian love is based on the common relationship of all, without exception, it can know no barriers of caste, class, citizenship, religion, ideology, parenthood, or whatever. The basis of the new belonging and acceptability is the recognition and acceptance of the common fatherhood of God. Regardless of our too human relationships of acceptance or rejection, we are now interrelated through a third other who immediately opens new possibilities to bypass the normal acceptance-rejection dynamics of group or personal relationships…
Like any other human group, it will have easily recognizable features: the “language” of the group might best be summarized in the Our Father; the members are from all classes and all ethnic backgrounds; their lifestyle is best described in the life of radical love and forgiveness spelled out in the Sermon on the Mount; their most distinctive cultic rite is the festive and joyous banquet proclaiming the memory of their founder. By that which is most original to them – the newness and uniqueness of universal fellowship under God-Abba – they will shine forth and be a new light to all people and all social structures. This new light will be good news to some and judgment to others. (63-64)
Galilean Journey, The Mexican-American Promise, Virgilio Elizondo
The Calling of St Matthew, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1599)
The branch of theology that is concerned with the nature, constitution, and functions of a church.
[Latin ecclesia, from Greek εκκλησια from εκκλειν, to summon forth : εκ-, out; see, κλη-, to call.]