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The Profession of Faith

115

A

rticle

3

WHO WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT,

BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

Paragraph 1. The Son of God Became Man

I.

W

hy

D

id

the

W

ord

B

ecome

F

lesh

?

456

With the Nicene Creed, we answer by confessing: “For us

men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the

Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

457

The Word became flesh for us

in order to save us by reconcil­

ing us with God,

who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation

for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the

world,” and “he was revealed to take away sins”:

70

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised

up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the 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; cap-

tives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator.

Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move

God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity

was in so miserable and unhappy a state?

71

458

The Word became flesh

so that thus we might know God’s

love:

“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.”

72

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that

whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

73

459

The Word became flesh

to be our model of holiness:

“Take my

yoke upon you, and learn from me.” “I am the way, and the truth,

and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

74

On the

mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: “Listen to

him!”

75

Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the

new law: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

76

This love

implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example.

77

70

1 Jn

4:10; 4:14; 3:5.

71 St. Gregory of Nyssa,

Orat. catech.

15: PG 45, 48B.

72

1 Jn

4:9.

73

Jn

3:16.

74

Mt

11:29;

Jn

14:6.

75

Mk

9:7; cf.

Deut

6:4-5.

76

Jn

15:12.

77 Cf.

Mk

8:34.

607

385

219

520

823, 2012

1717, 1965