Jesus "went up the mountain and summoned the men He Himself had decided on, who came and joined Him. He named twelve." —Mark 3:13-14
Continuity is one of the most important principles of God's plan. What the Lord is doing now usually builds on what He has done in the past. Additionally, the future usually flows from the present. Some illustrations of the principle of continuity are:
- The Church is the fulfillment of the chosen people of Israel.
- The twelve apostles are the development of the twelve patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel.
- The bishops are the successors of the apostles.
- The Pope is the successor of Peter as leader of the apostles.
- The priesthood of the New Testament is the fulfillment of the priesthood of the family of Aaron and of the tribe of Levi.
- Jesus did not "come to abolish the law and the prophets" but to fulfill them (Mt 5:17).
- The new covenant is based on a series of old covenants (see Heb 8:6ff).
Most Christians believe in the principle of continuity to some extent. But Catholics believe the Lord has shown that this principle should be emphasized. Thus, we believe in a visible, authoritative Church with bishops, a Pope, a hierarchical priesthood, and liturgy. Take continuity as seriously as the Lord does, and live accordingly.
Prayer: Father, may I love the Catholic Church as You do (see Eph 5:25).
Promise: "Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry now, just as He is Mediator of a better covenant, founded on better promises." —Heb 8:6
Praise: After reading an article in a Catholic publication, all the doubts that Rich had about the existence of God disappeared. His faith became so strong that he was eventually ordained into the priesthood, in which he has served faithfully for over fifty years.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000