Pope Benedict XVI Proclaims: He Has Become Like Us so that We Can Become Like Him
would like to offer a third reflection: the fact of the Incarnation, of God becoming a man like us, shows us the unprecedented realism of Divine love. The action of God, in fact, is not limited to words, indeed we might say that he is not content to speak, but is immersed in our history and takes on fatigue and weight of human life.
The Son of God became truly man, born of the Virgin Mary, in a specific time and place in Bethlehem during the reign of Augustus, under Governor Quirinius (Lk 2:1-2), he grew up in a family, had friends, he formed a group of disciples, he instructed the apostles to continue his mission, he completed the course of his earthly life on the Cross.
This mode of action of God is a powerful stimulus to question the realism of our faith, which should not be limited to the sphere of feelings and emotions, but must enter into concrete existence, that is to touch our lives every day and direct them in a practical way. God did not stop at words, but He showed us how to live, sharing our own experience, except sin.
The Catechism of St. Pius X, which some of us have studied as children, with its simplicity, to the question: "What should we do to live according to God?", gives this answer: "To live according to God we must believe the truth revealed by Him and keep His commandments with the help of His grace, which is obtained through the sacraments and prayer. " Faith has a fundamental aspect which affects not only the mind and the heart, but all of our lives.
A final element I propose for your consideration. St. John states that the Word, the Logos was with God from the beginning, and that all things were made through the Word, and nothing that exists was made without Him (cf. Jn 1:1-3). The Evangelist clearly alludes to the story of creation that is in the early chapters of Genesis, and read them in the light of Christ. This is a fundamental criterion in Christian reading of the Bible: the Old and New Testaments should always be read together and by beginning with the New the deepest sense also of the Old is disclosed.
That same Word that has always existed with God, which is God Himself and by which and in view of which all things were created (cf. Col 1:16-17), became man: the eternal and infinite God immersed himself in human finitude, His creature, to bring man and the whole of creation to Him The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: " The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendour of which surpasses that of the first creation "(n. 349).
The Fathers of the Church have likened Jesus to Adam, to the point of calling him the "second Adam" or the definitive Adam, the perfect image of God. With his incarnation the Son of God is a new creation, which gives the complete answer to the question "Who is man?". Only in Jesus is God's plan on the human being fully revealed: He is the definitive man according to God.
The Second Vatican Council strongly reiterates: "In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear... Christ, the final Adam, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. "(Gaudium et Spes, 22; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 359). In this child, the Son of God contemplated at Christmas, we can recognize the true face of the human being, and only by opening action of his grace and trying every day to follow Him, do we realize God's plan for us.
Dear friends, in this period we meditate on the great and wonderful richness of the mystery of the Incarnation, to allow the Lord to enlighten us and transform us more and more to the image of his Son made man for us.
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The Voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the World
Keywords: General audience, pope, Pope Benedict XVI, Catechesis, Incarnation, Holy See, holiness
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