CCC 3 Those who with God’s help have welcomed Christ’s call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ’s faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer.1
CCC 84 The apostles entrusted the “Sacred deposit” of the faith (the depositum fidei),2 contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. “By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful.”3
CCC 584 Jesus went up to the Temple as the privileged place of encounter with God. For him, the Temple was the dwelling of his Father, a house of prayer, and he was angered that its outer court had become a place of commerce.4 He drove merchants out of it because of jealous love for his Father: “You shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade. His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’”5 After his Resurrection his apostles retained their reverence for the Temple.6
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,”7 the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself;8
– with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching,9 the “good deposit,” the salutary words she has heard from the apostles;10
– 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”:11
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. ..12
CCC 949 In the primitive community of Jerusalem, the disciples “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.”13
Communion in the faith. The faith of the faithful is the faith of the Church, received from the apostles. Faith is a treasure of life which is enriched by being shared.
CCC 1329 The Lord’s Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.14
The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,15 above all at the Last Supper.16 It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,17 and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;18 by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.19
The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.20
CCC 1342 From the beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lord’s command. Of the Church of Jerusalem it is written:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. .. Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.21
CCC 2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age.22 The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful “not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another.”23
Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhortation: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess your sins, repent in prayer. .. Be present at the sacred and divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before the dismissal. .. We have often said: “This day is given to you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”24
CCC 2624 In the first community of Jerusalem, believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and the prayers.”25 This sequence is characteristic of the Church’s prayer: founded on the apostolic faith; authenticated by charity; nourished in the Eucharist.
CCC 2640 St. Luke in his gospel often expresses wonder and praise at the marvels of Christ and in his Acts of the Apostles stresses them as actions of the Holy Spirit: the community of Jerusalem, the invalid healed by Peter and John, the crowd that gives glory to God for that, and the pagans of Pisidia who “were glad and glorified the word of God.”26
1 Cf. Acts 2:42.
2 DV 10 § 1; cf. 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:12-14 (Vulg.).
3 DV 10 § 1; cf. Acts 2:42 (Greek); Pius XII, apostolic constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November 1950:AAS 42 (1950), 756, taken along with the words of St. Cyprian, Epist. 66, 8:CSEL 3/2,733: “The Church is the people united to its Priests, the flock adhering to its Shepherd.”
4 Cf. Mt 21:13.
5 Jn 2:16-17; cf. Ps 69:10.
6 Cf. Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:20, 21; etc.
7 Eph 2:20; Rev 21:14.
8 Cf. Mt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 9:1; 15:7-8; Gal 1:1; etc.
9 Cf. Acts 2:42.
10 Cf. 2 Tim 1:13-14.
11 AG 5.
12 Roman Missal, Preface of the Apostles I.
13 Acts 2:42.
14 Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9.
15 Cf. Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6, 19.
16 Cf. Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24.
17 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.
18 Cf. Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, 11.
19 Cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17.
20 Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34.
21 Acts 2:42, 46.
22 Cf. Acts 2:42-46; 1 Cor 11:17.
23 Heb 10:25.
24 Sermo de die dominica 2 et 6: PG 86/1, 416C and 421C.
25 Acts 2:42.
26 Acts 2:47; 3:9; 4:21; 13:48.