Catechism of the Catholic Church

116 Part One 460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: 78 “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into com- munion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” 79 “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” 80 “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.” 81 II. T he I ncarnation 461 Taking up St. John’s expression, “TheWord became flesh,” 82 the Church calls “Incarnation” the fact that the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. In a hymn cited by St. Paul, the Church sings the mystery of the Incarnation: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied him- self, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human formhe humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 83 462 The Letter to the Hebrews refers to the same mystery: Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offer- ings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.’” 84 463 Belief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinc­ tive sign of Christian faith: “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” 85 Such is the joyous conviction of the Church fromher begin­ ning whenever she sings “the mystery of our religion”: “He was manifested in the flesh.” 86 78 2 Pet 1:4. 79 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939. 80 St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B. 81 St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57: 1-4. 82 Jn 1:14. 83 Phil 2:5-8; cf. LH, Saturday, Canticle at Evening Prayer. 84 Heb 10:5-7, citing Ps 40:6–8 ([7-9] LXX). 85 1 Jn 4:2. 86 1 Tim 3:16. 1265, 1391 1988 653, 661 449 90