Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church
Posted by prepareformass on August 17, 2008
Prepare for Mass – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Today’s Readings
God will never leave his Church abandoned. The Church, the assembly of the People of God, is drawn together and is given life by the Word of God. Since this is true, we can also say that the Church herself becomes Christ’s Body.
Catechism paragraph 752
In Christian usage, the word “church” designates the liturgical assembly (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:18; 14:19, 28, 34, 35), but also the local community (Cf. 1 Cor 1:2; 16:1) or the whole universal community of believers (Cf. 1 Cor 15:9; Gal 1:13; Phil 3:6). These three meanings are inseparable. “The Church” is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ’s Body.
Christ himself, the eternal high priest, according to the order of Melchizedek fulfilled what the priesthood represented in the Old Covenent. Sacrifice of animals was fulfilled by the holy and perfect sacrifice where Jesus becomes present to us in his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity during each and every Mass. It is through this sacrifice and by the primacy that he gave to St. Peter that Christ keeps his promise never to abandon his Church.
Keys. Christ gave Peter keys to St Peter entrusting him and confirming him as shepherd of the whole Church. This is an office which continues unbroken and will continue unbroken until the end of time.
Catechism paragraphs 880-882
When Christ instituted the Twelve, “he constituted [them] in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them.” Just as “by the Lord’s institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another.”
The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.” This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.
The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.” “For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”
In the Old Testament we hear of the Lord thrusting Shebna from office and placing the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulders. But, Eliakim was not the king. He was the one designated to oversee the master’s affairs. The key belongs to the King. The key belongs to Jesus’. He gave it to his deputy entrusted to oversee his affairs. We in the Church belong to the Mystical Body of Christ and show obedience to the one Christ designated to oversee his affairs. The bishops have no authority if not united with Peter’s successor who is united with Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit.
We have received the faith as a gift. God’s plan of salvation is received through the Church. Christ created the Church and gave her a mission and setup a variety of offices for the good of the whole. The ones entrusted to this office are invested with a sacred power, dedicated to the interest of the body so that all who follow may attain to salvation.
This entry was posted on August 17, 2008 at 10:30 pm and is filed under 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Prepare for Mass, primacy of peter. Tagged: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, authority, bishops, catholic, catholicism, christianity, church, keys, primacy of peter, roman catholic, roman pontiff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.