While the mission of thechurch—the calling and gathering of people as followers of JesusChrist for the purpose of salvation—is the same as it was when Jesus first proclaimed the gospel andchose the apostles, soon after thisearly date things in the church began to change. Already in the Actsof the Apostles people were beingcalled specifically to serve Greek-speaking Christians (Acts 6:1-6),and in the second century Ignatius,the bishop of Antioch, spoke ofthe positions of bishop, priest, anddeacon necessary to serve the needsof the growing Christian church.
“There is a growth in theunderstanding of the realities andthe words which have been handeddown,” says the Second VaticanCouncil’s Dogmatic Constitution onDivine Revelation (Dei Verbum, no.
8). Sometimes that’s because thechurch needs to refocus on its cen
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The church mustmeet and speakto people wherethey are, and whatthe church stresseswill depend uponthe peopleor culture in whichit finds itself.
message” (Mark 3: 13-19). Jesus sent“them out two by two,” instructingthem to proclaim “that all shouldrepent” (Mark 6: 7-13).
The same, and changing
The church’s growth and change
allows it to become what it is
intended to be: the Body of Christ
that is to serve the needs of those
both inside and outside the church.
The church continues to developthroughout history so that it canfulfill its mission to bring the gospel to the world.
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