St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Symbolism in the Church #10

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The façade in the rotunda above the tabernacle was refurbished when we installed this high altar back in the spring of 2011. Great care was taken to get as much of the original design as possible. The façade for ordinary time is the one we could not get to, so we decided to put the image of the Holy family on until we could get to it later. The image of the Holy family was made available to us by the person who restored it for us for free. It was pasted on so that it would come off without having to take a scraper to it, with the intentions of restoring it to the original. Since then, many people have become attached to this image, which makes it harder to let go of. This makes sense, since it is probably the only image a person can see from the pews. So I am not sure we will get around to restoring this façade to the original.

But how do we know this was for ordinary time? A little of process of elimination. The lent/advent season façade has green in the recesses at the top of the dome part. But the colors are also a tell-tale. The ordinary time had green in the three leaf clover of the dome part of the façade. This resembles the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Notice that the three leaf clover is above each arched panel, pointing to the Trinity. The circle around the three leaf clover, also known as a tri-foil image, reminds us that though there are three persons, there is still one God. It illustrates to us the unity of the Trinity. The circle also reminds us that God is eternal. God has no beginning and no end. God is the one being that is not created, but is the creator.
God is truly big. He created all things that come into existence throughout all of time. I remember the shock to discover that time was not what I thought it was. I learned in science class that time is really a measurement of motion. To have measurement of motion, you must have something physical that moves. This means that you must have creation and before creation there could be no measurement of motion. That means that God existed before time existed. In fact, if God is the creator of physical things by which we measure motion, then God created time itself as well. Therefore, He is not subject to time, but time is subject to God. Even if creation were to no longer exist, God would still exist. Though we may die a physical death, as long as we are with God, we could live for all eternity even if the physical creation were to die.
Do you believe that He would do that for us? Knowing that Jesus died on the cross for us is proof enough for me. That was the whole point of Jesus coming to us as a human and dying on the cross for us as a human and rising from the dead. It was all so that we would believe. I have a hard enough time finding the energy to get up in the morning for a day’s work, let alone God choosing a whole life experiencing the same struggles in life just so we could have faith in Him. What does that say about how much He loves us? What does that say about how much He loves you?
It is no wonder that we see the three tiny arches that emanate out of the tri-foil like rays of light. God is our hope and our salvation. In Him is our only hope for heaven, and this hope is certainly sure. It far exceeds a conjuring of the mind. This hope is founded on the history of humanity that there truly was a man named Jesus who is the second person of the blessed trinity. He chose to die on the cross for us on that day, Good Friday. His love for us, for you, really exists, and you can point to that day as proof of it. Thank God!

Author: stjosephstmary

We are two Catholic Churches close to downtown Freeport, IL. Our communities are over 150 years old and have been dedicated to our lord Jesus Christ since our inception. We believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was concieved by the Holy Spirit, born of ythe Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

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