Jesus selected James, Philip, and the other apostles at the start of His public ministry (Mk 3:13ff). Jesus also selected the apostles to see Him after He had risen from the dead (1 Cor 15:5, 7). No one can ever replace the witness of the apostles "as the chosen witnesses of the Lord's Resurrection" (Catechism, 860).
Jesus told His apostles: "He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you, rejects Me" (Lk 10:16). Thus, we must pay close attention to the apostles' teaching (Acts 2:42), which continues in the Catholic Church through the Pope and bishops (Catechism, 863). If we refuse to listen to the Church, we risk rejecting Jesus Himself. Jesus doesn't like it when someone refuses to listen to His witnesses (see Mk 16:11, 14).
For example, I have known some couples who refuse to listen to the Church about refraining from the use of artificial birth control. They decided to form their own opinion on the subject. They expected Jesus to tell them Himself if it was against His will. Now Jesus does reveal His truth to individuals some of the time. However, Jesus has already spoken through His witnesses, the Church, about many matters of faith. To refuse to listen to the Church is to refuse to listen to Jesus (Lk 10:16) and to risk damnation (see Jn 5:25, 28-29).
Repent of refusing to listen to Jesus through His apostolic Church! Listen to Jesus; don't risk rejecting Him.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2006 through May 31, 2006.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005.