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Chapter 7. The Good News: God Has Sent His Son • 81


Who is Jesus Christ? He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, con-

ceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He is true God

and true man.

The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of

the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and

part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused

mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man

while remaining truly God. . . . During the first centuries the

Church had to defend and clarify this truth of faith against the

heresies that falsified it. (CCC, no. 464)

Because of various heresies that departed from the Apostolic

Tradition, the Church needed to defend and clarify the true being of

Christ. The first major heretical movement, Gnosticism, denied the

humanity of Christ. Its advocates taught that the body was an unworthy

dwelling place for God. They thought that the Incarnation could not

have happened. The Church asserted Christ’s true coming in the flesh,

born of the Virgin Mary. Moreover, in a real body, he truly suffered and

died on the Cross.

The son of God . . . worked with human hands; he thought with

a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human

heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made

one of us, like us in all things except sin. (GS, no. 22)

It is important to understand that Jesus had a human soul. He was

also endowed with true human knowledge, which always worked in

harmony with the divine wisdom to which Jesus’ knowledge was united.

Jesus also possessed a true human will, which always cooperated with

his divine will.

A second major heresy, called Arianism because it was taught by a

man named Arius, claimed that Jesus was not God. This Alexandrian

priest argued that the “Word” which became flesh in Jesus was not God,

but a created being, marvelous but created nonetheless. Arius and his

disciples believed it was unfitting to even think that a human being could