footnote to Oct. 3, 1999 Homily, Usurpers of the Vineyard

An excellent internet resource is Meeting Christ in the Liturgy by Fr. Cusick. Here is part of his reflection on this Sunday's Gospel:

The Church exists to teach the Truth. Those sin against the Holy Spirit and deny Christ who attack the charism of celibacy, the male priesthood, the ministry of the Pope as Christ's Vicar and our teacher in matters of faith and morals. These are treasures bestowed upon the Church from the beginning by Christ and cannot be denied or compromised.

The Catechism quotes a passage from the document Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council in this regard.

The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing. (CCC 755)

There is no salvation outside of the Church for those who commit apostasy, who deny their Catholic faith once having truly understood and embraced the Faith. To reject the true Church and her orthodox teaching is to reject Christ and His Salvation, for all graces by which he saves us come through His bride the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Roman Catholic Church. ' The Church...which is called 'that Jerusalem which is above' and 'our mother', is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ 'loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.' It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly 'nourishes and cherishes.' (CCC 757)

Be children of the Church!

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