The Church Complete Lesson 13: Jesus Christ Is Where The Church Is

Saint Peter's Square from the dome

By valyag (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Saint Paul’s understanding of the Church is fundamentally important: he always referred to the Church as the Body of Christ in which Christ is the Head that rules over, commands, nourishes and maintains the whole Body. These two realities are inseparable. In his Hymn to Jesus Christ in The First Letter to the Colossians, after showing Christ’s Preeminence, Saint Paul affirms:

“He is the head of the body, the Church” (The First Letter to the Colossians 1, 18).

“For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things from him” (The First Letter to the Colossians 1, 19).

Saint Augustine (354-430 A.D.), in his meditations on the Mystery of Christ-Church, referred to is as “Christus totus”, “the total Christ”, the Church united to the Christ. He told his followers:

“Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man…. The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does “head and members” mean? Christ and the Church” (CCC # 795).

The pre-requisite to participate in the life of the Body is keeping united to the Head “from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and bonds, achieves the growth that comes from God” (The First Letter to the Colossians 2, 19).

From this truth, one can also infer how important it is to keep united to the Pope, for he is the visible Head of the Body of Christ.

Saint Gregory the Great (540-604 A.D.) explains this Mystery with these words:

“Our Redeemer has showed Himself to us as just one person with the Holy Church instituted by Him.”

Saint Ignatius of Antioch (dead at 110 A.D.), Bishop and martyr of the first century, said that:

“Jesus Christ is where the Catholic Church is.”

Prof Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s Twitter: @pfelipeaquino