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
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).
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?
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.