Dear Family of Mary!
“My children, my Son knows you. He lived the life of man, and at the same time of God: a wondrous life-human flesh, divine Spirit…” (March 18, 2019)
It took centuries for the Church to hammer out the particulars of this ultimately mysterious event. Many errors had to be addressed in order to get it right! Our Lady says it so simply in her message. She too is approaching this great mystery with us. We all can bow down together before it. Our Savior is God and Man.
I want to share a few quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which address the Incarnation. It may be helpful for us to pray over the wisdom of the Church, and maybe even examine our own ideas about the Incarnation, to be sure we have it right!
463 Belief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinctive sign of Christian faith: “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.”85 Such is the joyous conviction of the Church from her beginning whenever she sings “the mystery of our religion”: “He was manifested in the flesh.”86
III. TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN
465 The first heresies denied not so much Christ’s divinity as his true humanity (Gnostic Docetism). From apostolic times the Christian faith has insisted on the true incarnation of God’s Son “come in the flesh”.87 But already in the third century, the Church in a council at Antioch had to affirm against Paul of Samosata that Jesus Christ is Son of God by nature and not by adoption. The first ecumenical council of Nicaea in 325 confessed in its Creed that the Son of God is “begotten, not made, of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father”, and condemned Arius, who had affirmed that the Son of God “came to be from things that were not” and that he was “from another substance” than that of the Father.88
466 The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God’s Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed “that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man.”89 Christ’s humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: “Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh.”90
467 The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God’s Son assumed it. Faced with this heresy, the fourth ecumenical council, at Chalcedon in 451, confessed:
87 Cf. 1 Jn 4:2-3; 2 Jn 7.
To prepare for the great Solemnity of the Annunciation, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us to grow in our understanding of the great mystery of love that is the Incarnation!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2019