Our Sunday Visitor will release the new book–The Apostles: The Origin of the Church and Their Co-Workers sometime this summer (July or August). It takes up where Jesus of Nazareth leaves off, but unlike that book which the Pope did not want to be considered part of his magisterial office–this one is and contains some of the same teachings as well as many others concerning the origins of the church and the Apostles. It will please any reader of Jesus of Nazareth. The cover of the book has a tie in with this week’s feast. Here is the image that is used:
1. Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI
2. The DVD: Into Great Silence (Two-Disc Set)
From Asia News Italy:
“In this extraordinray event – he continued – we find the essential and qualifying characteristics of the Church: the Church is one, as was the community of Pentecost gathered in prayer and ‘agreement’: ‘the community of believers was of one heart and mind’ (Acts; 4,32). The Church is holy, not because of its own merits, but because it is animated by the Holy Spirit, it keeps its gaze fixed on Christ, so as to become one with Him and his love. The Church is Catholic, because the Gospel is destined for all peoples, thus from the very begining, the Holy Spirit makes it so it is announced in all tongues. The Church is apostolic, because it has been built upon the cornerstone of the Apostles, and is the faithful custodian of their teachings down through the unbroken line of episcopal succession”.
Moreover, the “Catholic” characteristic of the Church, capable of reaching out to all peoples in all languages, also renders it “missionary”. “The Church – continued the pontiff – is in its very nature a missionary Church, and since the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit has ceaselessly propelled it and continues to guide it along the world’s paths, to the very edges of the earth and the end of all time”.
The pope then added a further, “essential point”: the Church is also “Roman”, not in the context of geographical limitations, but as an expression of its catholic and missionary nature : “In the Acts of the Apostles – explained the pope – … the passage of the Gospel from the Jews to the pagans, from Jerusalem to Rome is described. Rome represents the pagan world, thus all of the nations of people who are beyond the circle of God’s ancient people. In fact, the Acts conclude with the arrival of the Gospel in Rome. Thus we can say that Rome is synonymous of Catholicism and Mission, it expresses faithfulness to the origins, to the Church of all times, to a Church which speaks all languages and to all cultures”.