“I will build My Church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it.” –Matthew 16:18

Today we celebrate that Christ instituted the Church. He calls the Church His Body (e.g. Eph 1:22-23), His bride (see Eph 5:25-27), and “My Church” (Mt 16:18). The Church is the “Mystical Body of Christ” and the “new People of God” (Lumen Gentium, Vatican II, 8, 9). The Church alone is “the pillar and bulwark of truth” (1 Tm 3:15). She can attack the gates of hell, which cannot prevail against her (Mt 16:18).

The Church is one, acknowledging one faith, one Lord, one Baptism (Catechism, 866). “The Church is holy…the Spirit of holiness gives her life” (Catechism, 867). The Church is also catholic, that is, universal, and therefore missionary (Catechism, 868). The Church is divinely established as apostolic, founded on the apostles, including Sts. Peter and Paul (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14). The Church is a community of believers, hierarchical and visible, governed by the pope, the successor of St. Peter, and the bishops (Catechism, 869).

It is critical to know what Jesus means by the Church, for Jesus calls us to love the Church and to lay down our lives for it, as He did (Eph 5:25). Love the Church as Jesus does (Eph 5:25).

PRAYER: Father, may I imitate Jesus and give myself in service to Your Church.
PROMISE: “The time of my dissolution is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” —2 Tm 4:6-7
PRAISE: Through the Holy Spirit, Saints Peter and Paul spread the good news of Jesus throughout the known world.

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