Day 65: Why the Word Became Flesh (456-463)
This is Day 65!!
It’s a whole new section
A new article at least, where we look at the statement
ARTICLE 3: WHO WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY
Paragraph 1: The Son of God Became Man
And answering the big question
WHY DID THE WORD BECOME FLESH?
WHY DID THE SON OF GOD BECOME ONE OF US?
Today we’re on Article 3, which is the next statement in the Apostles’ Creed.
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary
Paragraph 1: The Son of God became Man
And we’re actually asking the question, “WHY”?
WHY did the Word become flesh?
The Church is going to offer us four reasons
The Nicene Creed says, “for us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven.”
Yes, that is a great reason, and in fact, that’s the FIRST REASON
Paragraph 457 says, “The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God.”
So that’s the first one
Why did the Word become flesh?
TO SAVE US BY RECONCILING US TO GOD!
The second reason is in Paragraph 458, “The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love.”
Imagine NEVER, NEVER REALLY hearing that even or even saying, “OK, God loves me.”
And not even realizing that here’s how he loves us
Paragraph 458 continues, “In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him…”
So the second reason
WHY DID GOD BECOME MAN?
AND WHY DID THE WORD BECOME FLESH?
SO THAT WE MIGHT KNOW GOD’S LOVE
The third reason, in Paragraph 459, “The Word became flesh to be our model of Holiness.”
He came to show us the way
The fourth reason that the Church offers here in Paragraph 460, “The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the Divine Nature.”
The other three reasons, the first three reasons ARE AMAZING
THEY ARE INCREDIBLE!!
This fourth reason
You know, we could dive deeply into what it means to be saved
We need to dive deeply into what it means to know God’s love
We have to reflect on that’
We need to dive deeply in reflecting on Jesus as our Model of Holiness
But this fourth reason
In Paragraph 460,
We cannot begin to reflect on what it means to be a PARTAKER OF THE DIVINE NATURE
When you and I were baptized and the Holy Spirit dwelt inside of us
We became a NEW CREATION
We became in some ways, a new SPECIES
We were ADOPTED by God the Father
IT BLOWS THE MIND!!
That that’s one of the reasons why the Word became flesh and dwelt among us
So we could become PARTAKERS
We could SHARE in the Divine Nature
Paragraphs 461 to 463 today are all just a reflection on the INCARNATION
Which is the “enfleshment of God”
If you know any Spanish “Carne” means “meat” or “flesh” (mmmm….carne asada!!! 😋)
So the Incarnation is the “enmeatment”, the “enfleshment” of God
Before we dive into this INCREDIBLE MYSTERY of the Incarnation
And of God’s love for us
And the reality that he has SAVED us by BECOMING ONE OF US
ASCENDING TO HEAVEN
We just need to call upon the Lord
We need to actually talk to God right now
Let’s take a moment and talk to God!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in heaven, we love you. More powerfully than we could ever love you, you love us. More truly than we could ever choose you, you have chosen us. And more faithfully than we could ever be faithful to you, you’ve laid a claim on our lives. And you’ve promised yourself, you’ve covenanted yourself to us. That becoming one of us and even not abandoning us, by even taking our humanity with you into heaven, by taking our humanity into your Divinity, Lord God, you’ve united forever humanity and Divinity and you’ve even given us a share in your Divinity. So Father, I just can’t even begin to thank you. I cannot even begin to understand the depth of your love, the depth of your faithfulness. Help us grasp a little bit more clearly today so that we can love you even more truly, today and forever in Heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen”
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
THIS IS BANANAS!!
IT IS BONKERS!!
IT IS INCREDIBLE (Again!!!)!!
WHY did the Word become Flesh?
WHY did God become one of us?
And here is the Church’s beautiful, powerful
This is worth bringing to prayer today
Maybe return to this
Bookmark this page
And just highlight these words
Here’s these four reasons
Here’s why God became flesh FOR YOU and FOR ME
And of course, we know this is all communal, right?
We know Jesus did this, that God did this for ALL the world
There’s NO ONE that he didn’t become flesh for
There’s NO ONE that Jesus didn’t suffer and die for
In Past, Present and the Future
He did it for everyone
let’s also make it really personal
This might be very helpful
Because the four reasons are
Paragraph 457 says, “The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God…”
OK, LET’S PAUSE
Make it personal
The word became flesh for YOU in order to save YOU by reconciling YOU with God
Paragraph 458 says, “The Word became flesh so that we might know God’s love…”
OK, make it personal
The word became flesh so that YOU might know God’s love
Paragraph 459 says, “The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness…”
Make it personal
The Word became flesh to be YOUR model of holiness
And the fourth reason
Paragraph 460 says, “The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the Divine Nature…”
The Word became flesh to make YOU partaker of the Divine Nature
Of course, this is COMMUNAL
God did this for EVERYBODY
It’s not just for me
But it IS personal, right?
This is for the WHOLE CHURCH
It’s for EVERY person who’s been baptized
EVERY person on the planetGod has done this for
EVEN if they don’t know it.
Let’s NOT let this be an ABSTRACTION
This is so CONCRETE
This is so PERSONAL
Ok, so let’s go back
The four reasons for salvation
By doing what?
By reconciling us with God
Remember Original Sin?
Remember what that did?
Remember how Original Sin did so many things that had consequences?
One of those consequences being that WE ARE DIVIDED IN OUR OWN HEARTS
Another consequence being that WE ARE DIVIDED FROM EACH OTHER
And the primary consequence that WE ARE DIVIDED FROM GOD
Jesus became flesh so that we might be reconciled to God
And by that reconciliation
That we might be SAVED
St Gregory of Nyssa said in Paragraph 457, “Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up, dead, to rise again. We had lost possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator”
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
OH MY GOSH!!
Second Reason, so that we might know God’s love
And I love
OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS!!
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his Only Son,that whoever believes in him, should not perish, but have eternal life.”
SO WE MIGHT KNOW GOD’S LOVE!!
It is SO COMMON that we have HEARD the truth that GOD LOVES US
How many of us have RECEIVED or ACCEPTED the TRUTH that GOD LOVES US?
Many people don’t believe God LOVES them
They believe God TOLERATES them
THE WORD BECAME FLESH SO THAT WE MAY KNOW GOD’S LOVE
Do YOU know God’s love?
Do YOU know that he LOVES you?
If you don’t, just trust that HE DOES
The third reason, the Word became flesh to be our model of holiness
Paragraph 459 says,“The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness:...‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.’...Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’”
So that’s how we have to live because he’s set the standard
The fourth reason, The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature
The example Fr. Mike always give is of PINOCCHIO
And we’ll talk about this at Baptism
You have Geppetto, who’s a human being
He makes this marionette Pinocchio
Pinocchio looks like Geppetto
He can walk like Geppetto
He can talk like Geppetto
And Geppetto might love him as a beloved creation of his own
He’s NOT Geppetto’s son
He’s Gepetto’s creation
Because Geppetto has a human nature
And Pinocchio has a marionette nature
So he can love him
And even if he’s in the image and likeness of Geppetto, there’s this closeness
But they’re not the same thing
They don’t share the same nature
Therefore, Geppeto can’t be Pinocchio’s father
What has to happen to Pinocchiio so that Geppeto can look at his creation and truly say, “This is my son”
Well, Pinocchio has to become a REAL boy
They have to have the same nature
This is why we can love our pets
But we’re never truly our pets’ parents
They’re never really our children, even if we love them truly
Because we don’t share the same nature
Here is God, who loves us so fully
That we partake in his Divine Nature so that we can truly say
“GOD IS OUR FATHER”
And he can truly look at us and say
“YOU ARE MY CHILD”
This is the POWER OF BAPTISM
This is the power of being given the Holy Spirit through the gift of Baptism
We’ll talk more about this as the year goes on
But there are some pretty profound quotes here from St Irenaeus
St Thomas Aquinas
St Irenaeus is saying in Paragraph 460, “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of Man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word, and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a Son of God.”
St Athanasius steps it up a notch, “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God…”
That could be very confusing because then
St Thomas Aquinas says, “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
Not gods in the sense that you get your own planet or you get your own universe
That we would SHARE in his Divinity
That we would SHARE in that nature
So that we have access to the Father as OUR FATHER who is just
OH SO AMAZING!!
And then, of course, we heard from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Chapter 2
And from the letter to the Hebrews
Philippians saying, “Have this among yourselves, which is your’s in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God.”
Now, a form of God doesn’t mean the appearance of God
But it means the very substance of God
That’s what that actually is translated as
“He who was the very substance of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped emptied himself.”
Now, that doesn’t mean he ceased being God
That meant that he didn’t hold on to the rights he had fully as God, but emptied himself and became one of us,
WHICH IS INCREDIBLE!!
And of course the Letter to the Hebrews referring to the exact same mystery of God taking on a body so that he could sacrifice himself so that he could do the Father’s will, as TRULY a human being, in a HUMAN nature, with a HUMAN will.
IT IS JUST AMAZING!!
The Church’s joyous conviction, from her beginning that HE was manifested in the flesh
He was revealed to us
1 Timothy 3:16, “Jesus, HE was manifested in the flesh’
He was revealed to us in the flesh
Those FOUR REASONS
Remember those four reasons
Remember the INCARNATION
The power of the Incarnation because here is God’s LOVE for you
God’s LOVE for me
Fr. Mike is going to pray with this for the rest of the day because this is incredible
Thank you guys so much
Thank you for being part of this community
Without you, Fr. Mike probably wouldn’t be reading every single word of this Catechism
He’d skip around
He’d bop around and just like pay attention to what he’s interested in
He would have missed this gold mine today
Fr. Mike already read the section today
He has always LOVED this section for today
I wouldn’t have read it today unless I was reading it to you
Fr. Mike is saying THANKS
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!