Loading
March 30, 2010
The Mystery of the Incarnation
By Michelle Bauman *

By Michelle Bauman *

We’re almost there.  On Palm Sunday, we entered into Holy Week. This, the most holy week of the liturgical year will culminate in the Triduum, when we celebrate Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.  As we conclude the season of Lent, let us take a look at the Christ’s life on Earth.  The Incarnation is one of the central truths of the Catholic faith. But it is also one that is easy to take for granted. This is especially for those who have been Catholics their entire lives, taught since they were little that Jesus is both God and man.

When we really pause to think about it, we realize how incredibly deep and beautiful the teaching on the Incarnation really is.  God became man.  The infinite, all-powerful, immortal God became one of us!  Christ is at the same time both fully human without losing his divinity and fully divine without losing his humanity.  What an incredible thought!  The Incarnation is a mystery that we cannot possibly understand fully.  However, it is a teaching that is of utmost importance to the Catholic faith.  As we go through this Holy Week, let us pause to really reflect on this important Church teaching.

In the early centuries of the Church, several heresies regarding the nature of Christ attracted many followers.  Among the more prominent heresies were Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ and held him to be simply a great man, and Docetism, which denied Christ’s humanity and claimed that his physical body and crucifixion were merely an illusion.  The Church fought these heresies by proclaiming the truth, which was affirmed by the early bishops, saints, and Church councils. This solidified truth has been clearly stated in the Catechism: The Incarnation “does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man” (CCC 464).

This understanding of the two natures of Christ is essential to the belief that our salvation comes from his Passion and Resurrection.  If Christ were not fully human, he could not have offered his sacrifice on the Cross on behalf of humanity.  If he were not divine, his sacrifice could not have been perfect.  Only in light of the proper understanding of Christ as both fully man and fully God does the Crucifixion really become the “acceptable sacrifice” that can save us from our sin.

While these ideas are probably not new to most Catholics, they are nevertheless good to remember during Holy Week.  Christ shared fully in our humanity, and he provides a model for us to follow in every situation of our lives.  Furthermore, he understands what we are going through, no matter how difficult.  The Scriptures record Jesus in times of hunger, thirst, exhaustion, joy, grief and anger.  Christ knew the full range of the human experience.  We are reminded that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). 

This knowledge should bring us comfort as we remember that we are never alone.  Not only did Christ show us the way to heaven, he offers us the strength to follow him along that path.  He comes down to us in our weakened human state and lifts us up with his grace.  What a truly amazing gift!  This Holy Week, as you prepare for Easter, take some time to reflect on the mystery of the Incarnation and thank God for his great love as you rediscover the depths of this fundamental but profound teaching of the Catholic Church.

Michelle Bauman is a senior at the University of Dallas, where she is studying politics and journalism.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
20

Liturgical Calendar

October 20, 2014

Monday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:13-21

Gospel
Date
10/20/14
10/19/14
10/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 1-10
Gospel:: Lk 12: 13-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/20/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:13-21

Homily
Date
10/20/14
10/19/14
10/18/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: