November 11, 2023
St. Martin of Tours
Your Domestic Church
Greet also the Church at their house.
Romans 16:5

In this chapter of Romans, Paul is busy with greetings and introductions of those early Christians with whom he is spreading the Gospel. Wouldn’t you have liked to meet Prisca, Aquila, Andronicus and all the others? Paul also asks us to greet the church at their house. We know at this time the early Christians met in each other’s homes to celebrate liturgy and to partake in the Eucharist. These early gatherings took place in domestic churches. Though times have changed dramatically, your home, with Christ at its center, is a domestic church. There you nurture each other in Gospel living, and you greet those who visit with Christian hospitality. You may sit at table, pray together, break bread. Christ is present with you, just as he was in those first home churches. And when your guests and family members leave your home, may they go out in love to spread Christ’s message to all they meet at school, at work and in the neighborhood.

Lord, I welcome all in your name!

- Jennifer Christ

Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27 • Psalm 145:2-5, 10-11 • Luke 16:9-15


November 11, 2023 at 09:45 PM

Help me please Father in Heaven not to think more of myself and to be loving and humble to the ones that I do not want to love and would rather judge. I need You so much. Amen Amen Amen in Jesus Holy Name I pray

November 11, 2023 at 01:44 PM

Plenty of start up churches in US are first meeting at homes!!! My sister and BIL's Chinese church in Texas started at a home many years ago. Now after every Sunday service, the whole church, have lunch together. They have rotating teams to prepare lunches ✝️ *** Who is Tertius in Romans 16:22, "I, Tertius, wrote down this letter. I greet you as a believer in the Lord." Tertius is Paul's scribe and a fellow believer! *** Before Paul introduced Priscilla and Aquila, he introduced Phoebe in Romans 16:1-2, "I would like you to welcome our sister Phoebe. She is a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her as one who belongs to the Lord. Receive her in the way God’s people should. Give her any help she may need from you. She has been a great help to many people, including me." *** Paul's warning in Romans 16:17-19, "I am warning you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who try to keep you from staying together. They want to trip you up. They teach you things opposite to what you have learned. Stay away from them. People like that are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving only themselves. With smooth talk and with words they don’t mean they fool people who don’t know any better. Everyone has heard that you obey God. So you have filled me with joy. I want you to be wise about what is good. And I want you to have nothing to do with what is evil!" ******* Paul's concluding prayer for them as much as it is for us today in Romans 16:25-27, "May God receive glory. He is able to strengthen your faith. He does this in keeping with the good news and the message I preach. It is the message about Jesus Christ. This message is in keeping with the mystery hidden for a very long time. The mystery has now been made known through the writings of the prophets. The eternal God commanded that it be made known. God wanted all the Gentiles to obey Him by trusting in Him. May the only wise God receive glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen!" ❤️

November 11, 2023 at 12:18 PM

Linda, your comment on meeting in garages brought back vivid memories of living in Russia. We had 3 options when we first arrived in Moscow and chose Our Lady of Hope Parish in 1995. Father Norman’s flat in a Stalin era apartment building on Saturday or Sunday evening, or Sunday morning at either the Anglo American school’s gym or if you could get through security at the American Embassy to attend Mass in their Community Center. And, at that time it was always packed with US embassy employees who lived in the compound and difficult to find a seat. We initially chose the school. Father Norman retired a year or two later and Father Michael John Ryan became our “Shepherd”, who became a dear friend and to this day is still in Moscow. Shortly after his arrival the Anglo American school was sold to the Japanese Embassy and they no longer allowed us use of the building. Father Michael’s flat could “uncomfortably” seat 37 people! It didn’t matter, we all sang out of tune in praise and glory! There were the most memorable times when only 3 of us would be there…I only moved my lips and let Father Mike sing out! He found another location for us to gather, the top floor of a four story building that was home to the French Music School. We got holy and fit every Sunday climbing the stairs…no elevator! After Easter Sunday Mass the Ambassador to Malawi and his family were attacked by skinheads. The Head Mistress of the School immediately cancelled our gatherings. Father Mike was invited by the Sisters of The Sister’s of Mother Theresa to have Mass at their “house” on the other side of Moscow. They actually owned a small building and cared for the Russian people who were ill and homeless and had set up a small chapel in their basement. I should mention here that the majority of our congregation was African which may seem odd, but it was comprised of the French African community of Diplomats and many students from Friendship University who were studying in Moscow on Student Visas. Our very first Mass the residents in this region called the Police to report seeing many people of color in their neighborhood. We had a beautiful Mass, as Father made his way to the back of the Chapel at the end of Mass, he quickly turned around and told us all to sit down…there were a lot of Police just outside in the parking area. He asked all of the Diplomats who had attended to go out first to their vehicles with their official flags and license plates to hopefully circumvent a “situation”. It worked, but once more we were a congregation without a “Church”. Many things happened through the 14 years we lived and worshipped there, and so often I was struck by the absurdity of being afraid to worship my religion despite the Roosevelt-Litvinoff Agreement which allowed for religious freedom for Americans living in Russia and Russians living in the US. By the time we left in 2008 we were relegated to the “Crept” of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic Cathedral given back in 1998, that had been taken by Stalin. I was there for the rededication and it was hope filled with Vatican and Orthodox officials in attendance. We actually were allowed to have a Mass in the Cathedral at 3:00 on Sundays. But things changed…we were a real Heinz 57 group of parishioners, Africans, Brits, Philipinos, Koreans and by now only a handful of Americans, with several Russian converts! We gathered wherever we could, rarely having a “real” church to worship in. I’m sorry of the lengthy comment, Father Mike is on my mind…his brother Will, died in Ireland yesterday and after talking with him, I remembered why we all stayed close together and how he continues to be a faithful servant and Shepherd. I promise, my last comment…today Father Mike has Mass in an outbuilding on the grounds of the Cathedral. God is so good.

November 12, 2023 at 09:41 AM

Pam, this is just a fantastic remembrance. God bless father Mike. Eternal peace grant unto Will and let perpetual light shine upon him. Thank you for sharing this.

November 12, 2023 at 08:20 AM

Thankyou Pam for sharing your experiences in Russia- so very interesting!

November 11, 2023 at 07:22 PM

Pam, this is an amazing story...I just wanted to read on and on of your experiences in Russia as a worshipping Catholic....may the Lord continue to bless all of you who kept the faith in those days, risking life and limb to praise the Lord

November 11, 2023 at 01:44 PM

Wonderful comments, so interesting seeing God work!

November 11, 2023 at 11:51 AM

Amen! :)

November 11, 2023 at 11:38 AM

Thank God for another Veteran's Day! Many gave their lives for the Freedom's we enjoy today! Keep the Wounded, Injured, those with PTSD, Families, Our Active Duty and Retirees in Prayer! Let's Never Forget! God Bless Them and God Bless America Our Home Sweet Home! I'm an Air Force Veteran!

November 12, 2023 at 09:41 AM

amen! Thank you both for your service!

Bill L.
November 11, 2023 at 03:33 PM

As am I TW. Prayers to those families of the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

November 11, 2023 at 10:39 AM


November 11, 2023 at 09:38 AM

Amen Amen Amen God bless you all

November 11, 2023 at 07:58 AM

Love this reflection Jennifer. Certainly reminds us that “a” church is a building. “The” church is all of us who are members of the body of Christ in all its shapes and forms. Amen.

November 11, 2023 at 07:51 AM

Lord, please watch over and protect the humanitarian corridors being established in Gaza. Hear our continued prayers for those in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, the Sudan, and all those suffering around the world - also for their strength, courage and resilience to continue walking in faith. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in need and all who are at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all those who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

November 11, 2023 at 07:20 AM

In 1978, before I moved to Virginia Beach, our church, St. Mark met in people's garages. We are much like the early Christians who did the same thing. We are proud of our humble beginnings and as our pastor once told us in a homily, WE are the church. And it is true that it is not just a building. It is the body of believers!

November 11, 2023 at 06:52 AM

It shows it is the people and not the building that is the church. They had communion in their own houses. We can do that today.

November 11, 2023 at 06:44 AM

Beautiful reflection Jennifer! Lord make our domestic churches receptive and warm to all who are within and to those who are without. Amen!

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