112 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
chaos might threaten the Church, they will never prevail over the Church
because of Christ’s protection. This scene ends with Christ’s prediction of
his suffering and death.
John 21:15-17 recounts a Resurrection scene. The risen Jesus spoke
to a repentant Peter, who is filled with sorrow because of his triple denial
of Christ, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter
replied, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my
lambs.” Jesus repeated the question two more times, and Peter strongly
professed his love. Each time Jesus commissioned him to feed his lambs
and sheep, that is, the members of the Church.
This scene complements the one in Matthew. There, Jesus called
Peter to be the rock of the Church. Here, Christ summoned Peter to be a
shepherd who loves Jesus and the Church’s people.
Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles, all chosen by Jesus to be the
foundation of his Church. At the head of the Twelve, Jesus placed Peter.
From Jesus, the Twelve received the mandate to preach the Gospel to all
nations. Peter ultimately made his way to Rome, where he died as a mar-
tyr. In establishing the Twelve Apostles with Peter at their head, Jesus gave
the Church the basic structure of its leadership.
THE CHURCH AS MYSTERY
The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible
but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action
and dedicated to contemplation.
—CCC, no. 771, citing Second Vatican Council,
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
; SC), no. 2
The Church is a holy mystery because of her origin in the Holy Trinity
and her mission to be the Sacrament of Salvation (the sign and instru-
ment of God’s plan to unite all under Christ).
The Holy Trinity brought the Church into being. The Father called
the Church into existence. The Son established the Church. The Holy
Spirit filled the Church with power and wisdom at Pentecost. The Holy