CCC 552 Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve;1 Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Our Lord then declared to him: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”2 Christ, the “living Stone”,3 thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it.4
CCC 709 The Law, the sign of God’s promise and covenant, ought to have governed the hearts and institutions of that people to whom Abraham’s faith gave birth. “If you will obey my voice and keep my covenant,. .. you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”5 But after David, Israel gave in to the temptation of becoming a kingdom like other nations. The Kingdom, however, the object of the promise made to David,6 would be the work of the Holy Spirit; it would belong to the poor according to the Spirit.
CCC 756 “Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the corner-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.”7
CCC 782 The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:
– It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”8
– One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being “born anew,” a birth “of water and the Spirit,”9 that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
– This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is “the messianic people.”
– “The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.”
– “Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.”10 This is the “new” law of the Holy Spirit.11
– Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world.12 This people is “a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.”
-Its destiny, finally, “is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time.”13
CCC 901 “Hence the laity, dedicated as they are to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvelously called and prepared so that even richer fruits of the Spirit maybe produced in them. For all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit – indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born – all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord. And so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness of their lives.”14
CCC 1141 The celebrating assembly is the community of the baptized who, “by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, that through all the works of Christian men they may offer spiritual sacrifices.”15 This “common priesthood” is that of Christ the sole priest, in which all his members participate:16
Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people,” have a right and an obligation by reason of their Baptism.17
CCC 1179 The worship “in Spirit and in truth”18 of the New Covenant is not tied exclusively to any one place. The whole earth is sacred and entrusted to the children of men. What matters above all is that, when the faithful assemble in the same place, they are the “living stones,” gathered to be “built into a spiritual house.”19 For the Body of the risen Christ is the spiritual temple from which the source of living water springs forth: incorporated into Christ by the Holy Spirit, “we are the temple of the living God.”20
CCC 1268 The baptized have become “living stones” to be “built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.”21 By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light.”22 Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.
CCC 1330 The memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.
The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, “sacrifice of praise,” spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used,23 since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.
The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church’s whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.
CCC 1546 Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.”24 The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are “consecrated to be. .. a holy priesthood.”25
CCC 2769 In Baptism and Confirmation, the handing on (traditio) of the Lord’s Prayer signifies new birth into the divine life. Since Christian prayer is our speaking to God with the very word of God, those who are “born anew. .. through the living and abiding word of God”26 learn to invoke their Father by the one Word he always hears. They can henceforth do so, for the seal of the Holy Spirit’s anointing is indelibly placed on their hearts, ears, lips, indeed their whole filial being. This is why most of the patristic commentaries on the Our Father are addressed to catechumens and neophytes. When the Church prays the Lord’s Prayer, it is always the people made up of the “new-born” who pray and obtain mercy.27
1 Cf Mk 3:16; 9:2; Lk 24:34; I Cor 15:5.
2 Mt 16:18.
3 I Pt 2:4.
4 Cf. Lk 22:32.
5 Ex 19:5-6; Cf. 1 Pet 2:9.
6 Cf. 2 Sam 7; Ps 89; Lk 1:32-33.
7 LG 6; Cf. 1 Cor 3:9; Mt 21:42 and parallels; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Ps 118:22; 1 Cor 3:11; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:19-22; Rev 21:3; 1 Pet 2:5; Rev 21:1-2.
8 1 Pet 2:9.
9 Jn 3:3-5.
10 Cf. Jn 13 34
11 Rom 8:2; Gal 5:25.
12 Cf. Mt 5:13-16.
13 LG 9 # 2.
14 LG 34; cf. LG 10, 1 Pet 2:5.
15 LG 10; cf. 1 Pet 2:4-5.
16 Cf. LG 10; 34; PO 2.
17 SC 14; Cf. 1 Pet 2:9; 2:4-5.
18 Jn 4:24.
19 1 Pet 2:4-5.
20 2 Cor 6:16.
21 1 Pet 2:5.
22 1 Pet 2:9.
23 Heb 13:15; cf. 1 Pet 25; Ps 116:13, 17; Mal 1:11.
24 Rev 1:6; cf. Rev 5:9-10; 1 Pet 2:5,9.
25 LG 10 § 1.
26 1 Pet 1:23.
27 Cf. 1 Pet 2:1-10.