Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 129 Paragraph 3. The Mysteries of Christ’s Life 512 Concerning Christ’s life the Creed speaks only about the mysteries of the Incarnation (conception and birth) and Paschal mystery (passion, crucifixion, death, burial, descent into hell, res- urrection, and ascension). It says nothing explicitly about the mys­ teries of Jesus’ hidden or public life, but the articles of faith concerning his Incarnation and Passover do shed light on the whole of his earthly life. “All that Jesus did and taught, from the begin- ning until the day when he was taken up to heaven,” 171 is to be seen in the light of the mysteries of Christmas and Easter. 513 According to circumstances catechesis will make use of all the richness of the mysteries of Jesus. Here it is enough merely to indicate some elements common to all the mysteries of Christ’s life (I), in order then to sketch the principal mysteries of Jesus’ hidden (II) and public (III) life. I. C hrist ’ s W hole L ife I s M ystery 514 Many things about Jesus of interest to human curiosity do not figure in the Gospels. Almost nothing is said about his hidden life at Nazareth, and even a great part of his public life is not recounted. 172 What is written in the Gospels was set down there “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” 173 515 The Gospels were written by men who were among the first to have the faith 174 and wanted to share it with others. Having known in faith who Jesus is, they could see and make others see the traces of his mystery in all his earthly life. From the swaddling clothes of his birth to the vinegar of his Passion and the shroud of his Resurrection, everything in Jesus’ life was a sign of his mys- tery. 175 His deeds, miracles, and words all revealed that “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” 176 His humanity ap- peared as “sacrament,” that is, the sign and instrument, of his divinity and of the salvation he brings: what was visible in his earthly life leads to the invisible mystery of his divine sonship and redemptive mission. 171 Acts 1:1-2. 172 Cf. Jn 20:30. 173 Jn 20:31. 174 Cf. Mk 1:1; Jn 21:24. 175 Cf. Lk 2:7; Mt 27:48; Jn 20:7. 176 Col 2:9. 1163 426, 561 126 609, 774 477