2.1 Wat is de Kerk? Wie vormen de Kerk?
Jezus zelf heeft de Kerk ingesteld. Het is de gemeenschap van de mensen die Jezus willen navolgen om zo heilig te worden en voor altijd met Hem te leven in de hemel. De Apostel Paulus noemde de Kerk ‘het Lichaam van Christus’: Jezus is het hoofd ervan en alle andere mensen hebben hun eigen plek binnen dit lichaam. Net zoals we alle delen van ons lichaam nodig hebben, zo zijn alle lidmaten van de Kerk belangrijk voor de hele Kerk. Je zou de gelovigen in drie grote ‘groepen’ kunnen indelen, die ieder een eigen roeping hebben binnen de Kerk:
a) de lekengelovigen
b) de religieuzen en
c) de diakens, priesters en bisschoppen.
What is the origin and the fulfillment of the Church?
The Church finds her origin and fulfillment in the eternal plan of God. She was prepared for in the Old Covenant with the election of Israel, the sign of the future gathering of all the nations. Founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, fulfilled by his redeeming death and Resurrection, the Church has been manifested as the mystery of salvation by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. She will be perfected in the glory of heaven as the assembly of all the redeemed of the earth. [CCCC 149]
What is the task of the Church?
The Church’s task is to make the kingdom of God, which has already begun with Jesus, germinate and grow in all nations.
Wherever Jesus went, heaven touched earth: the kingdom of God was inaugurated, a kingdom of peace and justice. The Church serves this kingdom of God. She is not an end in herself. She must carry on what Jesus started. She should act as Jesus would act. She continues the sacred signs of Jesus (the sacraments). She hands on Jesus’ words. That is why the Church, for all her weakness, is a formidable bit of heaven on earth. [Youcat 123]
The Spirit leads the company of believers to "form a community," to be the Church... One of the central purposes of mission is to bring people together in hearing the Gospel, in fraternal communion, in prayer and in the Eucharist. To live in "fraternal communion" (koinonia) means to be "of one heart and soul" (Acts 4:32), establishing fellowship from every point of view: human, spiritual and material. [Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, n. 26]