Four Reasons, Four Points for Meditation

My favorite points for meditation at this time of year are the four reasons for the Incarnation, as explained in the Catechism, paragraphs 456-460.

God became man in order to…

1. Save us by reconciling us to God.

2. Reveal God’s love.

3. Be our model of holiness.

4. Make us partakers of the divine nature.

Catechism-of-the-Catholic-CHurchNow, no one can prove that God has become man. We can only grasp the truth of Who Jesus is by faith.

But these needs we have, as a race, which our heavenly Father addressed, by sending His Son to live a pilgrim life like ours–these needs can hardly be denied by a rational individual.

We don’t naturally find ourselves in a state in which we can claim to be ‘right with God.’ We don’t even know what that means, without Jesus showing us, by making us right with Him on the cross.

Are we born knowing that God loves us the way Jesus has shown us that God loves us? Hardly. We get born terrified and hungry. We desperately need someone to teach us that God loves us.

Do models of holiness grow on trees in this world? Even non-Christians acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth has offered mankind a uniquely sublime path to follow, has taught mankind what selflessness is.

As to the fourth reason for the Incarnation: no sane person can begin to maintain that mankind ‘partakes of divine nature’ naturally. Yes, we have unique capacities, as creatures go. No dog ever painted a Mona Lisa. Fish can’t do calculus. Plants don’t write poems.

But: That we would share in the eternity, the simplicity, the infinite beauty of the genius Who made everything; that every human being, no matter how humble or downtrodden, could hope for everlasting peace in a kingdom of undying friendship: Until Jesus came, mankind had never dared to imagine that we could possess such a destiny–and that we all possess it, as a united human family.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment when the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold!

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