Jesus Christ is King of Thieves, though he never stole. He is savior of sinners though he himself never sinned.


In the Gospel for today’s feast we have an image for the Church. We like to think of more pleasant images such as the Church being the Bride of Christ or the Body of Christ. Today’s image is less exalted and more humbling to be sure but it is an image just the same: The Church is Christ, crucified between two thieves.

Yes, this is the Church too. Somehow we are all thieves. The fact is, we are all sinners and we have all used the gifts and things that belong to God in a way that is contrary to his will. To misuse things that belong to others is a form of theft and we are thus thieves for we have all misused what belongs to God.

Consider some of the things we claim as our own and how easily we misuse them: Our bodies, our time, our talents, our money, our gift of speech, our gift of freedom and so forth. We call them ours but they really belong to God and if we use them in ways contrary to the intention of the owner we are guilty of a form of theft.

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The Catholic Church, as mentioned in Holy Scripture


A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden: Mt 5:14

Body of Christ: Eph 1:22-23

Bride of Christ: Isa 61:10,62:5,
Jer 7:34,16:9,25:10,33:11, Joel 2:16,
Jn 3:29, Eph 5:23-24,31-32,
Rev 18:23,*21:2,**9,22:17

Church of the firstborn: Heb 12:23

Church of the Living GOD: 1Tim 3:15

City of the living GOD: Heb 12:22

Heavenly Jerusalem: Heb 12:22

Holy City: Rev 21:2

Holy and without blemish: Eph 5:27

Mustard seed: Mt 13:31-32, Mk 4:30-32, Lk 13:18-19

My Church: Mt 16:18

New Jerusalem: Rev 21:2

Pillar and foundation of the truth: 1Tim 3:15

Poor little one tossed with the tempest: Isa 54:11

Submitted by Bob Stanley

The Church and the Development of Doctrine

Jesus Christ, who we all know to be, the Son of GOD, and therefore a divine person, began His humble life in His human form, His human nature, as a little helpless baby, just like the rest of us. He needed his mother and his foster father, St. Joseph, just like we needed our mother and father, to feed us and tend to our needs. Jesus grew and advanced in wisdom and age (Luke 2:52) just like we all do. It is said that the ‘Creator of the Universe’ was taught how to make furniture by St. Joseph, as Jesus became a carpenter too. Jesus later became the ‘Bridegroom’ (Matt 9:15) and the Church which He founded in Matt 16:18 became His ‘Bride’. Jesus had shown us the humble, infant beginning of the Bridegroom, the facts that He matured in growth, learned, and gained in wisdom. But what about the Bride?


Now, some try to show that the ‘Bride’ started as an adult from birth. They look at the Catholic Church of today and try to equate it to the ‘infant’ Church which Jesus Christ founded, by looking at the ‘Bride’ as fully grown and matured from the very beginning. I actually received an inquiry as to why Peter cannot be found in the book of Revelation, named as the first Pope. Another asked me to show him the Immaculate Conception (defined in 1854) in Scripture (the last book of Scripture was written about 95-100 A.D.). Questions like this abound and few fundamentalists can accept the fact that the Church actually had an infancy.


By the way, who or what is the Church? The Church is all of us. We are the body, and Jesus Christ is the head (Eph 1:22-23, Col 1:24). Like any body we grow and increase in wisdom, and must be fed, both bodily and spiritually.


A newborn baby, being not ready for solid food as of yet, has to be fed with milk. So too, the infant ‘Bride’ Church, had to be fed with milk…”I fed you with milk, not with solid food, for you were not yet ready for it (1Cor 3:2).” It takes awhile for the mind and the body to become accustomed to this new Christian environment. The Bride had to advance in age and wisdom by taking one step at a time, just like the Bridegroom, or like a little baby learning to walk.

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