Why did the Son of God become man?

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

84. What is the meaning of the title “Lord”?

 

In the Bible this title regularly designates God as Sovereign. Jesus ascribed this title to himself and revealed his divine sovereignty by his power over nature, over demons, over sin, and over death, above all by his own Resurrection. The first Christian creeds proclaimed that the power, the honour, and the glory that are due to God the Father also belong to Jesus: God “has given him the name which is above every other name” (Philippians 2:9). He is the Lord of the world and of history, the only One to whom we must completely submit our personal freedom.

 

“Jesus Christ was conceived by the power

of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary”

 

85. Why did the Son of God become man?

 

For us men and for our salvation, the Son of God became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. He did so to reconcile us sinners with God, to have us learn of God’s infinite love, to be our model of holiness and to make us “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

 

86. What does the word “Incarnation” mean?

 

The Church calls the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly man. Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith.

 

87. In what way is Jesus Christ true God and true man?

 

Jesus is inseparably true God and true man in the unity of his divine Person. As the Son of God, who is “begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father,” he was made true man, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

 

88. What does the Council of Chalcedon (in the year 451) teach in this regard?

 

The Council of Chalcedon teaches us to confess “one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in his humanity, true God and true man, composed of rational soul and body, consubstantial with the Father by his divinity, and consubstantial with us by his humanity, ‘like us in all things but sin’ (Hebrews 4:15), begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity, and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, born of Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God, as to his humanity.”

 

89. How does the Church set forth the Mystery of the Incarnation?

 

The Church confesses that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, with two natures, a divine nature and a human nature, not confused with each other but united in the Person of the Word. Therefore, in the humanity of Jesus all things - his miracles, his suffering, and his death - must be attributed to his divine Person which acts by means of his assumed human nature.

 

“O Only-begotten Son and Word of God you who are immortal, you who designed for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary  You who are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us!” (Byzantine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom)

 

90. Did the incarnate Son of God have a soul with human knowledge?

 

The Son of God assumed a body animated by a rational human soul. With his human intellect Jesus learned many things by way of experience; but also as man the Son of God had an intimate and immediate knowledge of God his Father. He likewise understood people’s secret thoughts and he knew fully the eternal plans which he had come to reveal.

 

91. How did the two wills of the incarnate Word cooperate?

 

Jesus had a divine will and a human will. In his earthly life the Son of God humanly willed all that he had divinely decided with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation. The human will of Christ followed without opposition or reluctance the divine will or, in other words, it was subject to it.

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

77. What other consequences derive from original sin?

 

In consequence of original sin human nature, without being totally corrupted, is wounded in its natural powers. It is subject to ignorance, to suffering, and to the dominion of death and is inclined toward sin. This inclination is called concupiscence.

 

78. After the first sin, what did God do?

After the first sin the world was inundated with sin but God did not abandon man to the power of death. Rather, he foretold in a mysterious way in the “Protoevangelium” (Genesis 3:15) that evil would be conquered and that man would be lifted up from his fall. This was the first proclamation of the Messiah and Redeemer. Therefore, the fall would be called in the future a “happy fault” because it “gained for us so great a Redeemer” (Liturgy of the Easter Vigil).

 

CHAPTER TWO

I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God

 

79. What is the Good News for humanity?

 

It is the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the “Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), who died and rose from the dead. In the time of King Herod and the Emperor Caesar Augustus, God fulfilled the promises that he made to Abraham and his descendants. He sent “his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

 

80. How is the Good !ews spread?

 

From the very beginning the first disciples burned with the desire to proclaim Jesus Christ in order to lead all to faith in him. Even today, from the loving knowledge of Christ there springs up in the believer the desire to evangelize and catechize, that is, to reveal in the Person of Christ the entire design of God and to put humanity in communion with him.

 

“And in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord”

 

81. What is the meaning of the name “Jesus”?

 

Given by the angel at the time of the Annunciation, the name “Jesus” means “God saves”. The name expresses his identity and his mission “because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Peter proclaimed that “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

82. Why is Jesus called “Christ”?

 

“Christ” in Greek, “Messiah” in Hebrew, means the “anointed one”. Jesus is the Christ because he is consecrated by God and anointed by the Holy Spirit for his redeeming mission. He is the Messiah awaited by Israel, sent into the world by the Father. Jesus accepted the title of Messiah but he made the meaning of the term clear: “come down from heaven” (John 3:13), crucified and then risen , he is the Suffering Servant “who gives his life as a ransom for the many” (Matthew 20:28). From the name Christ comes our name of Christian.

 

83. In what sense is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?

 

Jesus is the Son of God in a unique and perfect way. At the time of his Baptism and his Transfiguration, the voice of the Father designated Jesus as his “beloved Son”. In presenting himself as the Son who “knows the Father” (Matthew 11:27), Jesus 

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

68. Why does the human race form a unity?

 

All people form the unity of the human race by reason of the common origin which they have from God. God has made “from one ancestor all the nations of men” (Acts 17:26). All have but one Saviour and are called to share in the eternal happiness of God.

 

69. How do the soul and body form a unity in the human being?

 

The human person is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. In man spirit and matter form one nature. This unity is so profound that, thanks to the spiritual principle which is the soul, the body which is material, becomes a living human body and participates in the dignity of the image of God.

 

70. Where does the soul come from?

 

The spiritual soul does not come from one’s parents but is created immediately by God and is immortal. It does not perish at the moment when it is separated from the body in death and it will be once again reunited with the body at the moment of the final resurrection.

 

71. What relationship has God established between man and woman?

 

Man and woman have been created by God in equal dignity insofar as they are human persons. At the same time, they have been created in a reciprocal complementarity insofar as they are masculine and feminine. God has willed them one for the other to form a communion of persons. They are also called to transmit human life by forming in matrimony “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). They are likewise called to subdue the earth as “stewards” of God.

72. What was the original condition of the human person according to the plan of God?

 

In creating man and woman God had given them a special participation in his own divine life in holiness and justice. In the plan of God they would not have had to suffer or die. Furthermore, a perfect harmony held sway within the human person, a harmony between creature and Creator, between man and woman, as well as between the first human couple and all of creation.

 

The Fall

 

73. How should we understand the reality of sin?

 

Sin is present in human history. This reality of sin can be understood clearly only in the light of divine revelation and above all in the light of Christ the Saviour of all. Where sin abounded, he made grace to abound all the more.

 

74. What was the fall of the angels?

 

This expression indicates that Satan and the other demons, about which Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church speak, were angels, created good by God. They were, however, transformed into evil because with a free and irrevocable choice they rejected God and his Kingdom, thus giving rise to the existence of hell. They try to associate human beings with their revolt against God. However, God has wrought in Christ a sure victory over the Evil One.

 

75. What was the first human sin?

 

When tempted by the devil, the first man and woman allowed trust in their Creator to die in their hearts. In their disobedience they wished to become “like God” but without God and not in accordance with God (Genesis 3:5). Thus, Adam and Eve immediately lost for themselves and for all their descendants the original grace of holiness and justice.

 

76. What is original sin?

 

Original sin, in which all human beings are born, is the state of deprivation of original

holiness and justice. It is a sin “contracted” by us not “committed”; it is a state of birth and not a personal act. Because of the original unity of all human beings, it is transmitted to the descendants of Adam “not by imitation, but by propagation”. This transmission remains a mystery which we cannot fully understand.

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

59. What did God create?

 

 Sacred Scripture says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The Church in her profession of faith proclaims that God is the Creator of everything,visible and invisible, of all spiritual and corporeal beings, that is, of angels and of the visibleworld and, in a special way, of man.

 

60. Who are the angels?

 

The angels are purely spiritual creatures, incorporeal, invisible, immortal, and personal beings endowed with intelligence and will. They ceaselessly contemplate God face-to-face and they glorify him. They serve him and are his messengers in the accomplishment of his saving mission to all.

 

61. In what way are angels present in the life of the Church?

 

The Church joins with the angels in adoring God, invokes their assistance and

commemorates some in her liturgy. “ Beside each believer stands an angel as a protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (Saint Basil the Great)

 

62. What does Sacred Scripture teach about the creation of the visible world?

 

Through the account of the “six days” of creation Sacred Scripture teaches us the value of the created world and its purpose, namely, to praise God and to serve humanity. Every single thing owes its very existence to God from whom it receives its goodness and perfection, its proper laws and its proper place in the universe.

 

63. What is the place of the human person in creation?

 

The human person is the summit of visible creation in as much as he or she is created in the image and likeness of God.

 

64. What kind of bond exists between created things?

 

There exist an interdependence and a hierarchy among creatures as willed by God. At the same time, there is also a unity and solidarity among creatures since all have the same Creator, are loved by him and are ordered to his glory. Respecting the laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is, therefore, a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.

 

65. What is the relationship between the work of creation and the work of redemption?

 

The work of creation culminates in the still greater work of redemption, which in fact gives rise to a new creation in which everything will recover its true meaning and fulfillment.

 

Man

 

66. In what sense do we understand man and woman as created “in the image of God”?

 

The human person is created in the image of God in the sense that he or she is capable of knowing and of loving their Creator in freedom. Human beings are the only creatures on earth that God has willed for their own sake and has called to share, through knowledge and love, in his own divine life. All human beings, in as much as they are created in the image of God, have the dignity of a person. A person is not something but someone, capable of self knowledge and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with God and with other persons.

67. For what purpose did God create man and woman?

 

God has created everything for them; but he has created them to know, serve and love God, to offer all of creation in this world in thanksgiving back to him and to be raised up to life with him in heaven. Only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of the human person come into true light. Man and woman are predestined to reproduce the imageof the Son of God made Man, who is the perfect “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

 

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

51. What is the importance of affirming “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)?

 

 The significance is that creation is the foundation of all God’s saving plans. It shows forth the almighty and wise love of God, and it is the first step toward the covenant of the one God with his people. It is the beginning of the history of salvation which culminates in Christ; and it is the first answer to our fundamental questions regarding our very origin and destiny.

 

52. Who created the world?

 

 The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the one and indivisible principle of creation even though the work of creating the world is particularly attributed to God the Father.

 

53. Why was the world created?

 

The world was created for the glory of God who wished to show forth and communicate his goodness, truth and beauty. The ultimate end of creation is that God, in Christ, might be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28) for his glory and for our happiness. “The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of God.” (Saint Irenaeus)

 

54. How did God create the universe?

 

God created the universe freely with wisdom and love. The world is not the result of any necessity, nor of blind fate, nor of chance. God created “out of nothing” (ex nihilo) (2 Maccabees 7:28) a world which is ordered and good and which he infinitely transcends. God preserves his creation in being and sustains it, giving it the capacity to act and leading it toward its fulfilment through his Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

55. What is divine providence?

 

Divine Providence consists in the dispositions with which God leads his creatures toward their ultimate end. God is the sovereign Master of his own plan. To carry it out, however, he also makes use of the cooperation of his creatures. For God grants his creatures the dignity of acting on their own and of being causes for each other.

 

56. How do we collaborate with divine Providence?

 

While respecting our freedom, God asks us to cooperate with him and gives us the ability to do so through actions, prayers and sufferings, thus awakening in us the desire “to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

 

57. If God is omnipotent and provident, why then does evil exist?

 

To this question, as painful and mysterious as it is, only the whole of Christian faith can constitute a response. God is not in any way - directly or indirectly - the cause of evil. He illuminates the mystery of evil in his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose in order to vanquish that great moral evil, human sin, which is at the root of all other evils.

 

58. Why does God permit evil?

 

Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil. This was realized in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forth the greatest of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our redemption)

Latest comments

26.03 | 17:36

Have a Blessed Holy Week!
Holy Week is the most important week in the Church year! It is a time when we celebrate in a special way the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We remember his actions, reflect on his messages, and recommit to living as his d

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01.09 | 02:56

I enjoy these prayers, and resort to them whenever I want to pray but don't know how!

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15.08 | 13:01

Thank you for your valuable comments much appreciated.

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14.08 | 13:57

My daily devotion and yearly novena.

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