The People of God
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified
Jew and Gentile Formed by the Spirit (781)
God wants to join individuals together to serve him in holiness. Therefore, he chose the Israelites as his own people and made a Covenant with them. This prepared for the New Covenant in Christ's blood, in which God called Jew and Gentile into a race formed by the Spirit not by the flesh" (Second Vatican Council).
Seven Characteristics of God's People (782)
Definite characteristics distinguish this People of God from every other group in history:
- The People of God are not the property of any one people group
- Membership comes from faith in Christ and Baptism, not from physical birth
- This People is messianic; Christ shares with them his anointing of the Spirit
- Their dignity is to be children of God because God's Spirit dwells within
- Their law is to love others as Christ loved them (Jn 13:34)
- Their mission is to be the "light of the world," a hope for the whole human race
- Their destiny is the Kingdom of God, in time and eternity
The Three Offices of Christ (783-786)
Since Christ was anointed priest, prophet, and king, every member has these three offices and carries their responsibilities.
By Baptism believers are consecrated into a "holy priesthood" (Heb 5:1-5).
They share in Christ's prophetic office by adhering unfailingly to the truths given to the saints. They share in Christ's royal office by serving the poor and the suffering. "The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Spirit consecrates them as priests" (Pope Leo the Great).