” ‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you crucified.’ Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart and said to Peter and to the rest of the Apostles: ‘What shall we do, men and brethren?’ But Peter said to them: ‘Do penance: and be baptized in the hame of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.’…They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about 3000 souls, and they were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers…And continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they took theri meat with gladness and simplicity of heart: Praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord increased daily together such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:36-39,41-42,46-47) [emphasis mine]
We’re having a discussion over on xanga regarding the issue of salvation. It began with the question of what the encyclical “no salvation outside the Church” means. Is the Church Catholic? Also, how do we accurately interpret that statement in light of Lumen Gentium? The bottom line seems to come down to this: was the Church that Christ established Catholic? What is a Catholic?
I believe that the early Church was indeed Catholic. Christ gave the keys of His kingdom to Peter. Peter is the leader of the now only minutes old Church. His homily clearly establishes that the nation of Israel has been replaced by the Lordship of Christ. God blesses Peter’s preaching with repentance, baptism, and entry into the new Church of 3000 souls. The newly baptized immediately begin their journey of salvation by following the infallible teaching of the Apostles. There it is; the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The Eucharist is the centerpoint of the gatherings of the people, and those who could not attend the public liturgy had the Eucharist brought to them. For further details of the early worship, contained in this passage, read the testimony of Justin Martyr, by clicking on the title’s link above.