Thought of the day
Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time

"Many will come from the east and the west, and will recline... at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven"

The Church is Catholic. The word "catholic" means "universal," in the sense of "according to the totality" or "in keeping with the whole." The Church is catholic in a double sense: first, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. "Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.” (St Ignatius of Antioch) In her subsists the fullness of Christ's body united with its head (Eph 1,22-23)... The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.

Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race (Mt 28,19). All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God's will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one” (Vatican II, LG 13)....

Each particular Church is "catholic"... These particular Churches "are constituted after the model of the universal Church; it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists” (LG 23). Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome "which presides in charity” (St Ignatius of Antioch). "For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord” (St Irenaeus)... The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches "unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church" (LG 23).