CCC 117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.
1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.1
2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.2
3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.3
CCC 586 Far from having been hostile to the Temple, where he gave the essential part of his teaching, Jesus was willing to pay the Temple-tax, associating with him Peter, whom he had just made the foundation of his future Church.4 He even identified himself with the Temple by presenting himself as God’s definitive dwelling-place among men.5 Therefore his being put to bodily death6 presaged the destruction of the Temple, which would manifest the dawning of a new age in the history of salvation: “The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.”7
CCC 757 “The Church, further, which is called ‘that Jerusalem which is above’ and ‘our mother’, is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ ‘loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.’ It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly ‘nourishes and cherishes.’”8
CCC 765 The Lord Jesus endowed his community with a structure that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved. Before all else there is the choice of the Twelve with Peter as their head.9 Representing the twelve tribes of Israel, they are the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem.10 The Twelve and the other disciples share in Christ’s mission and his power, but also in his lot.11 By all his actions, Christ prepares and builds his Church.
CCC 857 The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the apostles, in three ways:
– she was and remains built on “the foundation of the Apostles,”12 the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself;13
– with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching,14 the “good deposit,” the salutary words she has heard from the apostles;15
– she continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ’s return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of bishops, “assisted by priests, in union with the successor of Peter, the Church’s supreme pastor”:16
You are the eternal Shepherd
who never leaves his flock untended.
Through the apostles
you watch over us and protect us always.
You made them shepherds of the flock
to share in the work of your Son. ..17
CCC 865 The Church is ultimately one, holy, catholic, and apostolic in her deepest and ultimate identity, because it is in her that “the Kingdom of heaven,” the “Reign of God,”18 already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time. The kingdom has come in the person of Christ and grows mysteriously in the hearts of those incorporated into him, until its full eschatological manifestation. Then all those he has redeemed and made “holy and blameless before him in love,”19 will be gathered together as the one People of God, the “Bride of the Lamb,”20 “the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.”21 For “the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”22
CCC 1138 “Recapitulated in Christ,” these are the ones who take part in the service of the praise of God and the fulfillment of his plan: the heavenly powers, all creation (the four living beings), the servants of the Old and New Covenants (the twenty-four elders), the new People of God (the one hundred and forty-four thousand),23 especially the martyrs “slain for the word of God,” and the all-holy Mother of God (the Woman), the Bride of the Lamb,24 and finally “a great multitude which no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes, and peoples and tongues.”25
1 Cf. I Cor 10:2.
2 I Cor 10:11; cf. Heb 3:1 -4:11.
3 Cf. Rev 21:1 – 22:5.
4 Cf. Mt 8:4; 16:18; 17:24-27; Lk 17:14; Jn 4:22; 18:20.
5 Cf. Jn 2:21; Mt 12:6.
6 Cf. Jn 2:18-22.
7 Jn 4:21; cf. 4:23-24; Mt 27:5; Heb 9:11; Rev 21:22.
8 LG 6; Cf. Gal 4:26; Rev 12:17; 19:7; 21:2,9; 22:17; Eph 5:25-26,29.
9 Cf. Mk 3:14-15.
10 Cf. Mt 19:28; Lk 22:30; Rev 21:12-14.
11 Cf. Mk 6:7; Lk 10:1-2; Mt 10:25; Jn 15:20.
12 Eph 2:20; Rev 21:14.
13 Cf. Mt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 9:1; 15:7-8; Gal 1:1; etc.
14 Cf. Acts 2:42.
15 Cf. 2 Tim 1:13-14.
16 AG 5.
17 Roman Missal, Preface of the Apostles I.
18 Rev 19:6.
19 Eph 1:4.
20 Rev 21:9.
21 Rev 21:10-11.
22 Rev 21:14.
23 Cf. Rev 4-5; 7:1-8; 14:1; Isa 6:2-3.
24 Rev 6:9-11; Rev 21:9; cf. 12.
25 Rev 7:9.