Again from Kaye’s superb book on conflict in the church:
We observe in early Christianity that existing social connections and priorities are in a state of flux and are being changed. The absolute claims of Jesus’s lordship cut across existing patterns for social and personal order. The immediate result is to introduce new patterns of diversity and difference within the newly constituted community of the churches. The early Christian reality was that the gospel, universal in its scope and address and yet demanding a personal and living response, laid the foundations of a rich profusion of local diversity and cosmic belonging. (p. 24)
Or, to put it in different terms, what we see in the unfolding of the church recounted in the New Testament is the irruptive happening of catholicity itself in diverse and particular contexts. The event of catholicity is, thus, an event that is at once subversive of existing social conventions and generative of new possibilities for human life and community.