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Part One

appointed twelve, whom also he named apostles, to be with him,

and to be sent out to preach.”

368

From then on, they would also be

his “emissaries” (Greek

apostoloi

). In them, Christ continues his

own mission: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

369

The apostles’ ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesus said

to the Twelve: “he who receives you receives me.”

370

859

Jesus unites them to the mission he received from the

Father. As “the Son can do nothing of his own accord,” but receives

everything from the Father who sent him, so those whom Jesus

sends can do nothing apart from him,

371

fromwhom they received

both the mandate for their mission and the power to carry it out.

Christ’s apostles knew that they were called by God as “ministers

of a new covenant,” “servants of God,” “ambassadors for Christ,”

“servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

372

860

In the office of the apostles there is one aspect that cannot

be transmitted: to be the chosen witnesses of the Lord’s Resurrec-

tion and so the foundation stones of the Church. But their office

also has a permanent aspect. Christ promised to remain with them

always. The divine mission entrusted by Jesus to them “will con-

tinue to the end of time, since the Gospel they handed on is the

lasting source of all life for the Church. Therefore, . . . the apostles

took care to appoint successors.”

373

The bishops—successors of the apostles

861

“In order that the mission entrusted to them might be

continued after their death, [the apostles] consigned, by will and

testament, as it were, to their immediate collaborators the duty of

completing and consolidating the work they had begun, urging

them to tend to the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit had

appointed them to shepherd the Church of God. They accordingly

designated such men and then made the ruling that likewise on

their death other proven men should take over their ministry.”

374

368

Mk

3:13-14.

369

Jn

20:21; cf. 13:20; 17:18.

370

Mt

10:40; cf.

Lk

10:16.

371

Jn

5:19, 30; cf.

Jn

15:5.

372

2 Cor

3:6; 6:4; 5:20;

1 Cor

4:1.

373

LG

20; cf.

Mt

28:20.

374

LG

20; cf.

Acts

20:28; St. Clement of Rome,

Ad Cor.

42, 44: PG 1, 291-300.

425, 1086

876

642

765

1087

77

1087