“I will not let you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14, 18).
He gave His Disciples the guarantee He would stay with them to the end of times.
“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of age” (Matthew 28, 20).
Not to leave His Church orphan, He sent His Spirit:
“… He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit’” (John 20, 22).
He gave them the Holy Spirit when He appeared for the first time to His Disciples in the Cenacle. On the day of Pentecost, Saint Peter declared:
“Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you [both] see and hear” (The Acts of the Apostles 2, 33).
The Effusion of the Holy Spirit over the Apostles on Pentecost made the invisible communion between Jesus and His Church even more intense. After His Ascension, instead of being “with” His people, Jesus is “in” His people, in His Church, through the Holy Spirit. Vatican Council II teaches us:
By communicating His Spirit, Christ made His brothers, called together from all nations mystically the components of His own Body” (Lumen Gentium, 7).
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 13).
The Sacrament of Baptism joins us to the Death and Resurrection of the Christ; it also makes us in His likeness.
“We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection” (Romans 6, 4-5).
Therefore we become members of Christ’s Body (see The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 17): ‘so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another” (Romans 12, 5).
This is the Church!
Saint Leo the Great (died 461 AD) says:
“O Christian, acknowledge your dignity. You share the divine nature…Always remember the Head you belong to and the Body you are a member of” (Sermons 21, Chapter 3).
The Church is not simply congregated around the Christ; She is unified in Him and in His Body. It is not a mere “club”; it is the Body of Jesus that goes on living all through human history.
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 page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino