“I Shall Take on a New Body”
When Our Lord came to this earth, He took to Himself a human body, and it was by means of this human body that He taught, governed and sanctified. Then He founded a Church to continue this work after He had ascended into Heaven. He founded this Church on Peter the Apostle. “You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church” (Matt 16: 18). We could say at this stage that the Church had its raw material, but it consisted of many separate individuals. What it needed was a soul to unify it and make it one. This is what happened at Pentecost when Our Lord, ten days after His Ascension sent the Holy Spirit, as He had promised, on the Apostles with Peter as the Head, which unified them and made them into His Body. The Church was now created in the strict sense – it had its Head – Christ; its soul – the Holy Spirit; and us – its body.
It is through this Body that Our Lord continues to teach, govern and sanctify today, and this Body was doing so years before a single line of the New Testament was written. This Body is the Catholic Church, the Church He founded on Peter the rock, to which He gave the authority to preach and baptise in His Name. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
And Our Lord also promised that when the Holy Spirit came, He would teach them all truth. “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (John 14:26). This is how we know today what the truth is. We have to look for that Body to whom Christ made that astounding promise, and historically, that is the Catholic Church, which has the Successor of Peter, the Pope, as the visible Head on earth. Christ lives now, He teaches now, He governs now, He sanctifies now through His Mystical Body the Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit preaching and teaching the same doctrines He gave to the Apostles. Let us always listen to what Our Lord is telling us through the authentic teaching and voice of the Church. “He who hears you hears Me” (Luke 10:16).
Fr Paul Gillham IC