This excellent article was posted on Happy Catholic:
"Those people who claim to approach Christ whilst leaving his Church to one side, and even causing her harm, may one day get the same surprise as Saint Paul did when he was on his way to Damascus: I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. (Acts 9:5) And, the Venerable Bede reflects that He does not say "why are you persecuting my members, but why are you persecuting me?" For He is still affronted in his Body, which is the Church. Paul did not know until that moment that to persecute the Church was to persecute Jesus himself. When he speaks about the Church later on, he does so in words that describe her as the Body of Christ; (1 Cor 12:27) and he describes the faithful as members of Christ's Body. (1 Cor 2:27) It is not possible to love, follow or listen to Christ, without loving, following, or listening to the Church, because she is the presence, at once sacramental and mysterious, of Our Lord, who prolongs his saving mission in the world to the very end of time."
Source: In Conversation With God Vol 4