It is important to clearly understand that God decided to establish His Kingdom among us through His Church. Vatican Council II, “Lumen Gentium” teaches us that the Church has “the mission to proclaim and to spread among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God and to be, on earth, the initial budding forth of that kingdom” (LG 5). In other words, there is no Kingdom of God without the Church. Therefore the Church is not something dispensable, She is fundamental.
According to Saint Augustine’s words, “the Church received the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven so that She can accomplish the forgiveness of all sins through the Blood of the Christ and the Action of the Holy Spirit. Our souls were dead because of sin; even though they can now revive in the Church”.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church shows all the beauty, reality, mission and identity of the Church and teaches us that the Church:
- Is “a Plan born in the Father’s Heart” (CCC, 759);
- Was “foreshadowed from the world’s beginning” (CCC, 760);
- Was “prepared for in the Old Covenant” (CCC, 761);
- Was “instituted by Jesus Christ” (CCC, 763);
- Is “revealed by the Holy Spirit” (CCC, 767);
- Will be “perfected in glory” (CCC, 769);
- Is the “mystery of men’s union with God” (CCC, 772);
- Is “the Universal Sacrament of Salvation” (CCC, 774);
- Is “the Body of Christ” (CCC, 787);
- Is “the Bride of Christ” (CCC, 796);
- Is “the Temple of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, 797);
- Is “the People of God” (CCC, 781).
All these expressions have a vast meaning and you should know them in depth.
Some people ask: “why do we need a Church? Is it not enough to have faith in Jesus Christ?”
The answer for that question is that Jesus Himself wanted the Church as the continuation of His Redeeming Presence amidst men. He gave us the Church and the Creed as a guarantee that we are not merely following our own common sense or an undefined anonymous religiosity: we are walking along the pathways of God.
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