St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Symbolism in the Church #6

The high altar does not stand alone like the front altar. Most noticeably, it has what is known as the reredos. They are decorations that extend from the back of the altar to help focus on the sacrifice on the altar, the same sacrifice that lives in the tabernacle. Ours here at St Joseph is very rich in symbolism and teaching moments, more than in most I find.
First, the gold reminds us of the majesty of God. It is most evidently a golden palace. How many grandparents take their grandchildren to church here and the kids get it? It’s a great castle! Yes, a great golden castle for Jesus. That is truly where He lives, at the very center, the tabernacle. And in this majestic castle, we are invited to live, too, because in this castle there are many rooms for us (John 14:2-3). Jesus has prepared a room for you. Which room is it? Are you like the foundation or pillars and sturdy? Are you close to the heart of God, in the center? Has God risen you to lofty heights? Or are you by the arms of the reredos, always in His embrace? Or are you by the slain lamb from the long suffering of this life? … Continue reading


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THe Power of Christ Crucified

“Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.” -John 12:31-33

Think of it: a graphic image of a man tortured to death: bled dry, bruised, contorted, abused, hideously mistreated. Imagine such an image on the walls of homes, in schoolrooms, at crossroads, in courtrooms, worn about the neck, and venerated in places of worship. Such is the figure of the crucified Savior throughout traditional Europe and Latin America—whether Catholic, Orthodox, or even Lutheran. Countless millions of men, women, and children will describe this image as beautiful, as moving, as attractive. Continue reading