Why did the Son of God become man?

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

 

98. What does the virginal conception of Jesus mean?

 

The virginal conception of Jesus means that Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin solely by the power of the Holy Spirit without the intervention of a man. He is the Son of the heavenly Father according to his divine nature and the Son of Mary according to his human nature. He is, however, truly the Son of God in both natures since there is in him only one Person who is divine.

 

99. In what sense is Mary “ever Virgin”?

 

Mary is ever virgin in the sense that she “remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin” (Saint Augustine). Therefore, when the Gospels speak of the “brothers and sisters of Jesus”, they are talking about the close relations of Jesus, according to the way of speaking used in Sacred Scripture.

 

100. In what way is the spiritual motherhood of Mary universal?

 

Mary had only one Son, Jesus, but in him her spiritual motherhood extends to all whom he came to save. Obediently standing at the side of the new Adam, Jesus Christ, the Virgin is the new Eve, the true mother of all the living, who with a mother's love cooperates in their birth and their formation in the order of grace. Virgin and Mother, Mary is the figure of the Church, its most perfect realization.

 

101. In what sense is the life of Christ a Mystery?

 

The entire life of Christ is a revelation. What was visible in the earthly life of Jesus leads us to the invisible mystery of his divine sonship: “whoever has seen me has seen the Father”(John 14:9). Furthermore, even though salvation comes completely from the cross and the resurrection, the entire life of Christ is a mystery of redemption because everything that Jesus did, said, and suffered had for its aim the salvation of fallen human beings and the restoration of their vocation as children of God.

 

102. How did God prepare the world for the mystery of Christ?

 

God prepared for the coming of his Son over the centuries. He awakened in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of this coming and he prepared for it specifically through the Old Testament, culminating with John the Baptist who was the last and greatest of the prophets. We relive this long period of expectancy in the annual liturgical celebration of the season of Advent.

 

103. What does the Gospel teach about the mysteries of the birth and infancy of Jesus?

 

At Christmas the glory of heaven is shown forth in the weakness of a baby; the circumcision of Jesus is a sign of his belonging to the Hebrew people and is a prefiguration of ourBaptism; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah King of Israel to all the nations; at the presentation in the temple, Simeon and Anna symbolise all the anticipation of Israelawaiting its encounter with its Saviour; the flight into Egypt and the massacre of the innocents proclaim that the entire life of Christ will be under the sign of persecution; the departure from Egypt recalls the exodus and presents Jesus as the new Moses and the true anddefinitive liberator.

 

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

92. Did Christ have a true human body?

 

Christ assumed a true human body by means of which the invisible God became visible. This is the reason why Christ can be represented and venerated in sacred images.

 

93. What does the heart of Jesus exemplify?

 

Jesus knew us and loved us with a human heart. His Heart, pierced for our salvation, is the symbol of that infinite love with which he loves the Father and each one of us.

 

94. What is the meaning of the expression “conceived by the power of the Holy

Spirit...”?

 

This expression means that the Virgin Mary conceived the eternal Son in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit without the cooperation of a man. The angel told her at the Annunciation that “the Holy Spirit will come upon you” (Luke 1:35).

 

95. “...Born of the Virgin Mary”: Why is Mary truly the Mother of God?

 

Mary is truly the Mother of God because she is the Mother of Jesus (John 2:1, John 19:25). The One who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and became truly her Son is actually the eternal Son of God the Father. He is God himself.

 

96. What does the “Immaculate Conception” mean?

 

God freely chose Mary from all eternity to be the Mother of his Son. In order to carry out her mission she herself was conceived immaculate. This means that, thanks to the grace of God and in anticipation of the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary was preserved from original sin from the first instant of her conception.

 

97. How does Mary cooperate in the divine plan of salvation?

 

By the grace of God Mary was kept free from every personal sin her whole life long. She is the one who is “full of grace” (Luke 1:28), “the all holy”. When the angel announced to her that she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32), she freely gave her consent with “the obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5). Mary thus gave herself entirely to the person and work of her Son Jesus, espousing wholeheartedly the divine will regarding salvation.

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.

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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