It was built for an international exposition, and both critics and citizens called it monstrous.
They loudly demanded the structure be torn down as soon as the 1889 exposition closed. Yet from the moment its architect first conceived the structure, he took pride in it and loyally defended it.
He knew it was destined for greatness. Today, it stands as one of the architectural wonders of the modern world. It has become the primary landmark of Paris. The architect was Alexander Gustave Eiffel. His famous structure? The Eiffel Tower!
Similarly, Jesus was the architect another notable structure: the church. He entrusted the building of his church to an unlikely band of disciples, whom he defended, prayed for and prepared to take the gospel to the corners of the world.
To outsiders, the disciples of Jesus probably had a reputation as ignorant, politically weak, religiously untrained and disorganised. However, Jesus the architect of the church, knew that his disciples, guided by the Holy Spirit and his saving words, would continue to build his church despite stiff opposition and their own limitations. Being a Christian has never been "politically correct." Down through the centuries, critics of Jesus saving message have failed to stop his church growing.
We too are called to carry on growing God's church by acts of charity, love, sharing the faith, worshipping together faithfully, and spreading his saving word, when opportunities arise, regardless of the indifference or cynicism of others.
The famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius once consoled a young musician who had received a bad review by saying: "Remember, son there is no city in the world where they have erected a statue to a critic."
When facing criticism of our faith or adverse situations because of how we live, we should remember Jesus words: "I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). So, no matter what comes your way today, be proud you are a member of Jesus' church.