What is One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church?
One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church
The Church is One.
This refer’s to being United in the life of God. Jesus spoke of himself as a vine: “I am the vine you are the branches. Who ever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty, for cut off from me you can doing nothing”
The Spirit of God who unites us is like the sap in the vine normally we can not see it but yet it gives life. And the proof that we are alive is that we bear fruit which refreshers and nourishes the world in which we live.
The Church is Holy.
Jesus the Son of God, shared his life with us wholly, and he promised that he would continue to do so. “If anyone loves me”, he says “ he will keep my word and my Father will love him”, and we shall come to him and make our home with him” Jesus is “at home” with us. Our lives can and so often do, bring others to God.
The Church is Catholic.
This refers to the church because it embraces all people in every age. The final command of Jesus was “go and make disciples of all nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. The Church then is not an exclusive club / association for those we happen to regard as suitable. It is for everyone.
The Church is Apostolic.
It is God who calls us together as a Church, But we remain human beings. The church is formed by God as an organisation built upon human beings and in particular, on the apostles and each and every one of their successors, that is the bishops, “You are Peter, Jesus said to his chief apostle and on this rock I will build my Church,
“The Bishop of Rome remains the successor of St Peter”.
Like Peter, they are not always a solid rock yet it is so often in human weakness that the power of God becomes evident.
Also see CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH “Dominus Iesus", Paragraph 17, August 2000 ”IV. UNICITY AND UNITY OF THE CHURCH
The Church is people.
There was a great deal of weakness that Jesus had to deal with from his own close followers. One of the apostles, Philip, said to Jesus on the night before he died, “Lord let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied”, It was with some exasperation that Jesus replied, “ To have seen me is to have seen the Father.” A few years later St Paul said the same thing using different words. He described Jesus as “the Image of the unseen God” Col. 1:15. and “the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages”. Rom 16:25.
These words “Secret” and “Mystery” have very similar meaning and they give us the word “Sacrament”. The word sacrament comes from the Latin word “Sacramentum” which, in turn comes from the Greek word for “mystery”.
Both Jesus and Paul were emphasising the same truth, if we want to see what God is like, then look at Jesus himself and hear what he says and see what he does .
The present day, now that Jesus has returned to his Father, if we want to see what Jesus is like we are to look at his Church and hear what the Church says and see what it does, At times we refer to Jesus as the sacrament of God, and we refer to the church as the sacrament of Jesus Christ,
From the side of Christ, the Church tells us, come forth the wondrous Sacrament of the whole Church. It is absolutely impossible to over emphasises the closeness between Jesus Christ and the Church, The very first act of Jesus after his resurrection was to breathe on the apostles whom was all gathered in a small room, they had gathered together for comfort and give them his Holy Spirit. But Jesus looked beyond that room till the end of time and prayed to his father that all people would come together for one another and forgive each Other, so that they may live and be as one.
Each time we assemble we gather in the warmth of Gods love.