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THE 554 The Church as Sacrament for the World

Drawing upon the insights of the Second Vatican Council documents Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes, this course explores the church as the sacrament of Christ for the world. It begins by considering various biblical and creedal descriptions of the church: a sheepfold whose gate is Christ, God’s cultivated land, a flock of which Christ is the shepherd, the building of God of which Christ is the cornerstone, the spotless spouse of the spotless Lamb, a pilgrim people, the body of Christ, the temple of the Spirit, the people of God, and as one, holy, catholic and apostolic (Lumen Gentium, 6-8). The course devotes special attention to ministry in and for the church and the world, motivated by the conviction that the church "can contribute greatly toward making the human family and its history more human" [Gaudium et Spes, 40].