Thought for the Day – 11 May – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:60–69
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life..”…John 6:68
Excerpt on Pope Benedict’s Catechesis
on Christ and the Church
Wednesday, 15 March 2006
“In choosing the Twelve, introducing them into a communion of life with Himself and involving them in His mission of proclaiming the Kingdom in words and works (cf. Mk 6: 7-13; Mt 10: 5-8; Lk 9: 1-6; 6: 13), Jesus wants to say that the definitive time has arrived in which to constitute the new People of God, the people of the 12 tribes, which now becomes a universal people, His Church.
With their very own existence, the Twelve – called from different backgrounds – become an appeal for all of Israel to convert and allow herself to be gathered into the new covenant, complete and perfect fulfilment of the ancient one. The fact that He entrusted to His Apostles, during the Last Supper and before His Passion, the duty to celebrate His Pasch, demonstrates how Jesus wished to transfer to the entire community, in the person of its heads, the mandate to be a sign and instrument in history of the eschatological gathering begun by Him. In a certain sense we can say that the Last Supper itself is the act of foundation of the Church, because He gives Himself and thus creates a new community, a community united in communion with Himself.
In this light, one understands how the Risen One confers upon them, with the effusion of the Spirit, the power to forgive sins (cf. Jn 20: 23). Thus, the Twelve Apostles are the most evident sign of Jesus’ will. regarding the existence and mission of His Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition, despite the sins of the people who make up the Church, they are inseparable.
Therefore, a slogan that was popular some years back: “Jesus yes, Church no”, is totally inconceivable with the intention of Christ. This individualistically chosen Jesus is an imaginary Jesus.
We cannot have Jesus without the reality He created and in which He communicates Himself. Between the Son of God-made-flesh and His Church there is a profound, unbreakable and mysterious continuity by which Christ is present today in His people.
He is always contemporary with us, He is always contemporary with the Church, built on the foundation of the Apostles and alive in the succession of the Apostles.
And His very presence in the community, in which He Himself is always with us, is the reason for our joy.
Yes, Christ is with us, the Kingdom of God is coming.”