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The Church’s task is to make the kingdom of God, which has already begun with Jesus, germinate and grow in all nations.
Wherever Jesus went, heaven touched earth: the kingdom of God was inaugurated, a kingdom of peace and justice. The Church serves this kingdom of God. She is not an end in herself. She must carry on what Jesus started. She should act as Jesus would act. She continues the sacred signs of Jesus (the sacraments). She hands on Jesus’ words. That is why the Church, for all her weakness, is a formidable bit of heaven on earth.
Why is the Church more than an institution?
The Church is more than an institution because she is a mystery that is simultaneously human and divine.
True love does not blind a person but rather makes him see. With regard to the Church, this is precisely the case: Viewed from outside, the Church is only a historical institution with historical achievements, but also mistakes and even crimes – a Church of sinners. But that is not looking deep enough. After all, Christ became so involved with us sinners that he never abandons his Church, even if we were to betray him daily. This inseparable union of the human and the divine, this intertwining of sin and grace, is part of the mystery of the Church. Seen with the eyes of faith, the Church is therefore indestructibly holy.