Bishop Strickland: Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliacim the son of Helcias, and I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, divers kind of vessels, every little vessel, from the vessels of cups even to every instrument of music. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the peg be removed, that was fastened in the sure place: and it shall be broken and shall fall: and that which hung thereon, shall perish, because the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 22:20-25 DRB).

“Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.” (Matthew 16:16-20 DRB).

“And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia, write: These things saith the Holy One and the true one, he that hath the key of David; he that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth.” (Revelation 3:7 DRB).

The Lord does not interject things into the world abruptly and without warning that are necessary for our salvation. He builds a framework for them to rest upon, and then begins to teach us, step by step, how to enter in and partake of this salvific reality. And what is required in order to accept this reality is something I have written about in a previous letter – supernatural faith. Supernatural faith is of the utmost importance because salvific realities are far beyond human understanding and, therefore, supernatural faith is required to accept them. The “mystery” of the Church is one of these salvific realities which requires supernatural faith to understand and accept, for the Church came from the salvific plan of the Lord and is the “universal sacrament of salvation.”

By calling the Church the “universal sacrament of salvation,” it is not meant that it is the eighth sacrament. Instead, it is the foundation of all the sacraments, as it is through the Church that the other seven sacraments are received. Therefore, it is the Church that brings forth Christ’s saving mission in the world. The Church is both a sign and an instrument that brings forth God’s grace. As Christ was made flesh as the visible image of God on Earth, so too was the Church brought forth as the visible image of God on Earth, for indeed in His Church, His Bride, He is present among us.

Continue reading at Bishop Strickland’s Substack