CCC 60 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into the unity of the Church.1 They would be the root on to which the Gentiles would be grafted, once they came to believe.2
CCC 553 Jesus entrusted a specific authority to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”3 The “power of the keys” designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confirmed this mandate after his Resurrection: “Feed my sheep.”4 The power to “bind and loose” connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of the apostles5 and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.
CCC 606 The Son of God, who came down “from heaven, not to do [his] own will, but the will of him who sent [him]”,6 said on coming into the world, “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.” “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”7 From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father’s plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.”8 The sacrifice of Jesus “for the sins of the whole world”9 expresses his loving communion with the Father. “The Father loves me, because I lay down my life”, said the Lord, “[for] I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”10
CCC 609 By embracing in his human heart the Father’s love for men, Jesus “loved them to the end”, for “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”11 In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men.12 Indeed, out of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save, Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”13 Hence the sovereign freedom of God’s Son as he went out to his death.14
CCC 614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices.15 First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience.16
CCC 649 As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise.17 Elsewhere he affirms explicitly: “I lay down my life, that I may take it again. .. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”18 “We believe that Jesus died and rose again.”19
CCC 754 “The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep.”20
CCC 764 “This Kingdom shines out before men in the word, in the works and in the presence of Christ.”21 To welcome Jesus’ word is to welcome “the Kingdom itself.”21 The seed and beginning of the Kingdom are the “little flock” of those whom Jesus came to gather around him, the flock whose shepherd he is.23 They form Jesus’ true family.24 To those whom he thus gathered around him, he taught a new “way of acting” and a prayer of their own.25
1 Cf. Rom 11:28; Jn 11:52; 10:16.
2 Cf. Rom 11:17-18,24.
3 Mt 16:19.
4 Jn 21:15-17; Cf. 10:11.
5 Cf. Mt 18:18.
6 Jn 6:38.
7 Heb 10:5-10.
8 Jn 4:34.
9 1 Jn 2:2.
10 Jn 10:17; 14:31.
11 Jn 13:1; 15:13.
12 Cf. Heb 2:10,17-18; 4:15; 5:7-9.
13 Jn 10:18.
14 Cf. Jn 18:4-6; Mt 26:53.
15 Cf. Heb 10:10.
16 Cf. Jn 10:17-18; 15:13; Heb 9:14; 1 Jn 4:10.
17 Cf. Mk 8:31; 9:9-31; 10:34.
18 Jn 10:17-18.
19 I Th 4:14.
20 LG 6; cf. Jn 10:1-10; Isa 40:11; Ezek 34:11-31; Jn 10:11; 1 Pet 5:4; Jn 10:11-16.
21 LG 5.
22 LG 5.
23 Lk 12:32; cf. Mt 10:16; 26:31; Jn 10:1-21.
24 Cf. Mt 12:49.
25 Cf. Mt 5-6.