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The Profession of Faith

201

The Church—instituted by Christ Jesus

763

It was the Son’s task to accomplish the Father’s plan of

salvation in the fullness of time. Its accomplishment was the reason

for his being sent.

160

“The Lord Jesus inaugurated his Church by

preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Reign of God,

promised over the ages in the scriptures.”

161

To fulfill the Father’s

will, Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth. The

Church “is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery.”

162

764

“This Kingdom shines out before men in the word, in the

works and in the presence of Christ.”

163

To welcome Jesus’ word

is to welcome “the Kingdom itself.”

164

The seed and beginning of

the Kingdom are the “little flock” of those whom Jesus came to

gather around him, the flock whose shepherd he is.

165

They form

Jesus’ true family.

166

To those whom he thus gathered around him,

he taught a new “way of acting” and a prayer of their own.

167

765

The Lord Jesus endowed his community with a structure

that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved. Before all else

there is the choice of the Twelve with Peter as their head.

168

Representing the twelve tribes of Israel, they are the foundation

stones of the new Jerusalem.

169

The Twelve and the other disciples

share in Christ’s mission and his power, but also in his lot.

170

By

all his actions, Christ prepares and builds his Church.

766

The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving

for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and

fulfilled on the cross. “The origin and growth of the Church are

symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open

side of the crucified Jesus.”

171

“For it was from the side of Christ

as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth

the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.’”

172

As Eve was

160 Cf.

LG

3;

AG

3.

161

LG

5.

162

LG

3.

163

LG

5.

164

LG

5.

165

Lk

12:32; cf.

Mt

10:16; 26:31;

Jn

10:1-21.

166 Cf.

Mt

12:49.

167 Cf.

Mt

5-6.

168 Cf.

Mk

3:14-15.

169 Cf.

Mt

19:28;

Lk

22:30;

Rev

21:12-14.

170 Cf.

Mk

6:7;

Lk

10:1-2;

Mt

10:25;

Jn

15:20.

171

LG

3; cf.

Jn

19:34.

172

SC

5.

541

543

1691

2558

610

551

813, 860

1340

617

478