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LAITY IN THE CHURCH - page 3 / 21

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The baptized person who has been cleansed by the waters of God's covenant is described as having gone through four doors, as it were, into "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people, and a blessed community."  These four doors lead us to the same new family.  Here we find "who we are, what we are all about, what our mission is, and what we ought to be":  a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people, a blessed community.  This is what the laity is called to upon entry into covenant with the Lord in the waters of Baptism.

What is this covenant, this priesthood, this community, into which Jesus Christ calls us?  

A covenant is a formal, solemn, binding agreement.  It is at the heart of God's loving plan from all eternity.  He binds Himself to his people with the intimacy of a marriage bond.  Thus the Divine Liturgy of the Divine Mysteries can be defined as the encounter of God with His people for the celebration of their covenant.  All God's people belong to this covenant.

Priesthood in this covenant is viewed as service for others.

Community refers to a group of people united by shared values, goals, and authority, and permanence.  Community may grow until it becomes, like Israel, a whole nation, or it may spread even beyond the confines of land, like the Church.  Through

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