Jesus built only one church
and that church is the Catholic Church.
Jesus asked His apostles who they believe He was. Simon answered that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
For this, Jesus commended Simon and gave him a new name Peter which means rock. And implying that rock is good for a foundation, He declared that He will build His church on this rock Peter. Jesus built His church on a good rock foundation.
Simon Peter replied,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered him,
“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona!
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,
but my Father who is in heaven.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,
and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
Many who want to discredit the Catholic Church as the church that Jesus founded insist that the rock mentioned by Jesus in the said verse was Himself and not Peter. Jesus is indeed referred to in several Bible verses as the rock or the chief cornerstone. But if you follow logic, you would see that in Matthew 16:18, Jesus was referring to Peter as the rock on which He will build His church.
Jesus built only one church and He is the only head. But since He was to ascend to heaven and would not be back for a long time, He needed someone to take care of His Church while He was away. That’s why Jesus said He will give Peter the keys of the kingdom. To be given the keys of the kingdom when the king is away is like being authorized as the representative of the king.
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.
Jesus gave authority to Peter to bind and loose and whatever he binds or looses will be so in heaven. And thus, the Pope, the successor to Peter has this authority in the Catholic Church.
Jesus needed someone to take care of His Church on earth. He needed someone to feed His sheep. And so He asked Peter to do so three times.
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Now, Peter made some big mistakes in the past. For one, he rejected Jesus three times. How would Peter guide the flock of Jesus to the truth? He could make mistakes again. He could lead the flock astray.
In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus said that He had prayed for Peter that his faith may not fail and so he may strengthen others.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”
Jesus also promised Peter and the other apostles the coming of the Holy Spirit who will guide them to the truth.
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.
Whatever Jesus said is the truth so we must believe His word. We must believe that the gates of hell will not prevail against this church. We must believe that the church that He founded will always be guided to the truth.
For this reason, we the Catholics believe that what the Catholic Church teaches is the truth. We believe that the Catholic Church is guided by the Holy Spirit. This is the reason why we listen to what the Pope teaches us in his encyclicals. This is why we believe in papal infallibility.
Jesus built only one church and that church need to stay as ONE always, as Jesus and the Father are one.
The glory which Thou hast given me I have given to them,
that they may be one even as We are one,
Until 1054 AD, there was only one church of Jesus. There was only the Catholic Church. Whenever there was disagreement on some doctrines, this was resolved with the Pope’s intervention. Whatever the Pope declared then became official Church’s teaching and was believed as true.
In 1054 AD, there came the Schism, the break in communion between churches in the East and West due to differences in some practices and approach to religious doctrines.
The churches in the East became known as the Orthodox while those in the West as the Catholic. The Orthodox Church doesn’t recognize the authority of the Pope and claims to be the true church that Jesus founded.
There have been some efforts on the side of the Catholic Church to unite the two so as to conform to what Jesus intended for His Church to be – one. As a result, there have been some Eastern churches that reunited with the Catholic. But as of this writing, the Orthodox and the Catholic remain generally separated.
A schism from the Catholic Church known as Protestant Reformation took place in the sixteenth century. This further divided the Church and resulted in various Christian denominations which don’t recognize the authority of the Pope.
Aware of Jesus’ intention for His Church to be one, the Catholic Church led by the Pope sees the Orthodox Church and the various Christian denominations as separated brothers and sisters in Christ and wants so much to bring them in communion once again with her.
The key to the unity of the Church is to listen to the one that Jesus chose as His vicar. We know that the Vicar of Christ was Peter and by virtue of succession, the Pope is now His vicar. But the leaders of the separated churches continue to refuse seeing the Pope as Christ’s vicar. Many even see him as the anti-Christ.
Surfing the internet, I came across this miracle in Damascus. It happened in November 1982 when a young Catholic woman married to an Orthodox Christian while praying over her sick sister-in-law started having oil exuding from her hands. She was told to put her hands on her sick relative and the sick relative was instantly cured.
The young Catholic woman is named Myrna Nazour. When this miracle happened, she was praying with two other women, one Orthodox and the other Muslim.
Myrna also started to have apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She also had ecstasies where she saw and heard Jesus.
One of the messages given in this series of miracles is for the Church to be one.
“THE CHURCH WHICH JESUS ADOPTED IS ONE CHURCH, BECAUSE JESUS IS ONE. THE CHURCH IS GOD’S KINGDOM ON EARTH. HE WHO DIVIDED IT HAS SINNED. HE WHO IS HAPPY IN THESE DIVISIONS HAS ALSO SINNED.”
Myrna is also experiencing the stigmata of Jesus and according to reports, the stigmata wounds are becoming bigger as years go by without the Church being united.
This miracle in Damascus has the blessing of the Catholic Church. May this miracle lead to the unity of the Church.
Let’s pray that the unity would come soon. May the leaders of the separated churches be enlightened with humility and cooperate to the unity of the Church that Jesus founded.
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