REBUTTAL: THE ANSWER IS, YES - IT'S ONE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS!
The Commissioning of the Disciples
“The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matt 28:16-20).
In the commission of the disciples it’s important to notice Jesus didn’t anoint everyone, he only anointed the eleven apostles. It was the apostles who later in Acts 1, through the work of the Spirit anoints and appoints Matthias as the successor of Judas. For it is written in the Book of Psalms: “Let his encampment become desolate and may no one dwell in it. ‘And: ‘May another take his office” (Acts 1:20, Ps 109:8).
Jesus tells them to go to the entire world and teach the disciples all what He commanded. This includes baptism, not only in Jesus’ name but the Holy name of the Trinity. The apostles would not be doing all of this alone, Jesus and the Holy Spirit would be with them until the end of time. In Luke 10:16, Jesus gives his apostles a list of instructions, and sends them out in pairs and tells them, “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Jesus gives His apostles the power to speak with His voice.
We begin to see Jesus working and teaching his apostles to establish his visible Church and teaching authority. In Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus instructs his apostles how to reprimand a sinner beginning with the one who was mistreated. If forgiveness wasn’t reached they are to bring witnesses in an attempt to humble the sinner in public. If this failed then they are to bring the sinner to the Church. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector, (Matt. 18:17-18). How were tax collectors treated in the Church? They were cast out if they didn’t repent, the Church calls this excommunicated which means a person is no longer in communion with the Church or with Christ.
Christ is the Church and we are the members of his body, Ephes. 5:30. Though we are many, we are one body in Christ (Rom. 12:4-5). He is the head of the body, which is the church, (Col. 1:18). The Church must be one in unity with Jesus, he prayed for this to be while on the cross, John 17:21 so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. Tertullian in AD 197: “We are a society with a single religious feeling, a single unity of discipline, a single bond of hope.” Jesus establishes His church to make sure His teachings would be understood and the practices would be applied correctly. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth., 1 Timothy 3:15.
We go to Mass (church) on Sunday because it is the day of the Resurrection. On the first day of the week Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. In the Mass the priest has the power to offer and make present Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary. Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, John 14:23.
We go to Mass to do what he taught us to do and to receive him in the Eucharist as often as we can. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins,” (Matthew 26:26). “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes,” (1 Cor. 11:26). “Do you not know that those who perform the temple services eat [what] belongs to the temple, and those who minister at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings,” (1 Cor. 9:13)?
Catholics are morally obliged to attend Holy Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation.