I have been thinking about the Catholic Church, and what it means to be "universal".
Here is what I think. I think that there is a Church that is built on the cornerstone of Christ, with the apostles and prophets as the foundation. On that foundation is a building built with living stones... each of us. (See Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:5) I do believe that if you had to peg a church as that Church, it is the Catholic Church. But I do not believe that all the living stones are Catholics.
What it takes to be a living stone is to be alive in Christ. Every Christian who has new life in Christ is a living stone. Every Jew before the time of Christ who was faithful because of the One Who would come, is alive in Christ. They are living stones. Naaman and Rahab, who sought the true God, are living stones. Every person who, for whatever reason, is not Christian, but lives a life of love and truth can be a living stone.
It is only in the grace of Christ that we can be saved. But we all know that goodness, rightness, truth and love are not only found in those of a Judeo-Christian background. And I believe where these things are found, Christ is found. Of course, no matter what we call ourselves, if we live in a disconnect with the grace of Christ, we are not living stones. Ultimately, a decision will have to be made, whether in this life or upon entering the next. For Christ or against Him. But anyone who is truly and humbly seeking Truth and Love is for Christ. They are living stones.
And that is one small piece of what I think it means to have a universal Church.