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I often ask my client churches to honestly tell me what they perceive as their church's primary goal. This is not a scientific poll because these. The traditional understanding of the goal of the Church, of the Christian discipleship, is eternal residence in Paradise. But our goal is not to go to Heaven to live.
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Literally so. It is that simple.
In other words, why did Jesus ascend into the heavens and leave his Church to finish the mission? To answer these questions, it can help to ask another question: What does God love most? God loves God most.
Does this make God an egocentric narcissist who is ultimately incapable of love? Not at all.
What is the best gift God can give you? Ultimately, the best gift God can give you is himself. We were made for God. The gift of God is God—he who as the Holy Spirit is communion with us. Only God is God. He alone creates; everything else is creation. He alone has always been; everything else has a starting point. He alone is supremely capable of love, because he alone is God.
Out of the overflow of his self-love, the triune God is able to love us. It is like a garden, a field he sows: what should it bear him? His praise, the reverence due to him, the way to serve him; it tells him of his glory. When it comes to the Catholic Church, our first impulse can be to want God to make a big deal out of us. We want him to make us the center of attention.