OC 03/13 Episode 072 Catechism 0547-0553

Catechism 0547-0553

The signs of the kingdom of God

547 Jesus accompanies his words with many “mighty works and wonders and signs”, which manifest that the kingdom is present in him and attest that he was the promised Messiah. [268]

548 The signs worked by Jesus attest that the Father has sent him. They invite belief in him. [269] To those who turn to him in faith, he grants what they ask. [270] So miracles strengthen faith in the One who does his Father’s works; they bear witness that he is the Son of God. [271] But his miracles can also be occasions for “offense”; [272] they are not intended to satisfy people’s curiosity or desire for magic Despite his evident miracles some people reject Jesus; he is even accused of acting by the power of demons. [273]

549 By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, [274] Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless he did not come to abolish all evils here below, [275] but to free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God’s sons and causes all forms of human bondage. [276]

550 The coming of God’s kingdom means the defeat of Satan’s: “If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” [277] Jesus’ exorcisms free some individuals from the domination of demons. They anticipate Jesus’ great victory over “the ruler of this world”. [278] The kingdom of God will be definitively established through Christ’s cross: “God reigned from the wood.” [279]

“The keys of the kingdom”

551 From the beginning of his public life Jesus chose certain men, twelve in number, to be with him and to participate in his mission. [280] He gives the Twelve a share in his authority and ‘sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.” [281] They remain associated for ever with Christ’s kingdom, for through them he directs the Church:

As my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. [282]

552 Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve; [283] 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.” [284] Christ, the “living Stone”, [285] 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. [286]

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.” [287] 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.” [288] 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 apostles [289] and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.

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