Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pope to Focus on the Mystery of Christ and the Church

Today in his General Audience Pope Benedict announced his first program of catechesis at these weekly events (up until a few weeks ago he had been finishing Pope John Paul's):

In coming weeks, our catechesis will focus on the mystery of Christ and the Church. Jesus willed to found his Church upon the Apostles, and it is through their witness that we continue to encounter him. The mission of the Apostles must be seen in the context of the mystery of communion of God’s People, spanning both the old and the new Covenant. Jesus’s entire ministry took place against the backdrop of Israel’s faith and hope, and was aimed at gathering into one the eschatological People of God. Far from a purely individualistic summons to conversion, his mission was directed to the establishment of the community of the new and eternal Covenant. Jesus’ conscious decision to choose the Twelve Apostles was a prophetic sign announcing the eschatological renewal of the twelve tribes of Israel, the dawn of salvation and the fulfilment of God’s promises. In the person of the Apostles, charged with the celebration of the Eucharist and the forgiveness of sins, the Church has been made the sign and instrument of the Kingdom of God in our midst. Christ can never be separated from the Church; through the Church he remains ever present in his people, and in a special way in the successors of the Apostles.

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