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112 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

chaos might threaten the Church, they will never prevail over the Church

because of Christ’s protection. This scene ends with Christ’s prediction of

his suffering and death.

John 21:15-17 recounts a Resurrection scene. The risen Jesus spoke

to a repentant Peter, who is filled with sorrow because of his triple denial

of Christ, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter

replied, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my

lambs.” Jesus repeated the question two more times, and Peter strongly

professed his love. Each time Jesus commissioned him to feed his lambs

and sheep, that is, the members of the Church.

This scene complements the one in Matthew. There, Jesus called

Peter to be the rock of the Church. Here, Christ summoned Peter to be a

shepherd who loves Jesus and the Church’s people.

Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles, all chosen by Jesus to be the

foundation of his Church. At the head of the Twelve, Jesus placed Peter.

From Jesus, the Twelve received the mandate to preach the Gospel to all

nations. Peter ultimately made his way to Rome, where he died as a mar-

tyr. In establishing the Twelve Apostles with Peter at their head, Jesus gave

the Church the basic structure of its leadership.


The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible

but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action

and dedicated to contemplation.

—CCC, no. 771, citing Second Vatican Council,

Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy


Sacrosanctum Concilium

; SC), no. 2

The Church is a holy mystery because of her origin in the Holy Trinity

and her mission to be the Sacrament of Salvation (the sign and instru-

ment of God’s plan to unite all under Christ).

The Holy Trinity brought the Church into being. The Father called

the Church into existence. The Son established the Church. The Holy

Spirit filled the Church with power and wisdom at Pentecost. The Holy