Questions about the Incarnation
77. Did God abandon man after Adam fell into sin?
God did not abandon man after Adam fell into sin, but promised to send into the world a
Savior to free man from his sins and to reopen to him the gates of heaven.
(a) God could have abandoned man and allowed the human race to suffer the just penalty
of never seeing Him face to face in heaven. In His infinite love and mercy, God took pity
on Adam and his descendants and gave them the chance of salvation through the promised
78. Who is the Savior of all men?
The Savior of all men is Jesus Christ.
(a) Not all men are saved, but all who attain salvation do so through the merits of
(b) That Jesus Christ is the promised Savior can be proved from the prophecies of the
Old Testament which are fulfilled in Him; from His own testimony, which is worthy of
belief; and from the miracles He worked in proof of His divine mission, especially His
(c) The name "Jesus" means Savior.
(d) "Christ," a Greek word meaning "anointed," signifies Jesus'
three-fold office of King, Priest, and Prophet, because, of old, kings, priests, and
prophets were anointed.
79. What is the chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ?
The chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ is that He is God made
80. Why is Jesus Christ God?
Jesus Christ is God because He is the only Son of God, having the same divine nature as
(a) Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who from eternity
proceeds by true spiritual generation from the Father.
(b) We believe Jesus Christ is God because God Himself revealed this truth:
first, through the Prophets of the Old Testament who foretold that the promised
Redeemer would be God;
second, through Christ Himself, who claimed to be God and confirmed His own testimony
by the holiness of His life, by the fulfillment of His prophecies, and by the miracles He
worked in His own name and by His own power, especially His Resurrection.
(c) A miracle is something that is not according to the usual course of created nature,
surpasses the power of all creatures, and consequently can be produced only by the power
(d) The senses must be able to observe a miracle if it is to have the value of a proof
(e) Only God can be the principal cause of a miracle because a miracle surpasses the
power of all creatures. God sometimes uses creatures as instruments in performing
(f) Since God, who is all-truthful, is the principal cause of a miracle, it cannot be
worked in support of a lie.
(g) The following are some of Christ's miracles: He restored sight to the blind, cured
lepers in an instant, walked on the waters of the sea, multiplied the loaves and fishes,
raised the dead to life, and finally, rose from the dead Himself by His own divine power.
81. Why is Jesus Christ man?
Jesus Christ is man because He is the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary and has a body and
soul like ours.
(a) Although Christ's conception and birth were miraculous, He, like other men, came
into the world as an infant, having Mary for His Mother. Since His origin from the Blessed
Virgin is true generation, Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ, who is God, and she is
therefore truly the Mother of God.
(b) Christ, like other men, ate, drank, became tired, slept, and walked through Judea,
Galilee, and Samaria.
(c) Christ, as man, was the most perfect of all men. He was endowed with human
intelligence and free will, but He was free from all ignorance and error, from all sin and
(d) The human soul of Christ could suffer as well as His body. For example, Christ was
sorrowful unto death. In the garden of Gethsemani He said to His disciples: "My soul
is sad, even unto death. Wait here and watch with me" (Matthew 26:38).
82. Is Jesus Christ more than one Person?
No, Jesus Christ is only one Person; and that Person is the second Person of the
Blessed Trinity. (a) It is heresy to say that there are two Persons in Christ.
83. How many natures has Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ has two natures: the nature of God and the nature of man.
(a) There is a difference between person and nature. Human nature i£ composed of body
and soul; in a human person is found the added perfection which makes each one an
individual, distinct from all others. A human person has only one human nature. Christ is
a divine Person having the nature of God and the nature of man.
(b) Christ proved He had both the nature of God and the nature of man by doing some
things that only God could do, and other things that men do.
(c) It is heresy to deny the divine nature of Jesus Christ by accepting Him as merely a
perfect man; it is also heresy to deny His human nature.
(d) The following is the defined teaching of the Church: "I also believe in the
Son of God, the Word, begotten of the Father in eternity, before all time . . . born in
time of the Holy Ghost from Mary, ever virgin; born with a rational soul; having two
nativities, one eternal of the Father, the other in time, of His Mother." (Leo IX,
84. Was the Son of God always man?
The son of God was not always man, but became man at the time of the Incarnation.
85. What is meant by the Incarnation?
By the Incarnation is meant that the Son of God, retaining His divine nature, took to
Himself a human nature, that is, a body and soul like ours.
(a) The union of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity with human nature is called
the hypostatic union.
86. How was the Son of God made man?
The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of
the Blessed Virgin Mary.
(a) The conception of the Son of God in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary is
attributed to the power of the third Person of the Blessed Trinity because the Holy Ghost
proceeds from the love of the Father and the Son, and the Incarnation is a work of God's
great love for mankind.
(b) All three Persons of the Holy Trinity performed the act of divine power whereby the
Incarnation took place. But Catholic faith teaches that only the second Person took to
Himself a human nature.
87. When was the Son of God conceived and made man?
The Son of God was conceived and made man on Annunciation Day, the day on which the
Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she was to be the Mother of God.
(a) We commemorate this event when we say the Angelus.
(b) The miraculous privileges accorded the Blessed Virgin Mary by Almighty God testify
to her position as the most exalted of God's creatures.
(c) Mary, the Mother of God, remained a virgin not only in the conception of Christ but
also in His birth and during the rest of her life.
(d) Because of her consent to accept the office of Mother of the Redeemer, and also
because of her merits in intimately sharing the sufferings of her Divine Son for the
salvation of mankind, the Blessed Virgin is given the title of Co-Redemptrix of the human
(e) After her death, the body of the Blessed Virgin, reunited with her soul, was
miraculously taken up into heaven. The Church observes this event in the Feast of the
(f) Special veneration, called hyperdulia, is given to the Blessed Virgin, because of
her excellence which far surpasses that of all the saints and angels.
88. Is Saint Joseph the father of Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ had no human father, but Saint Joseph was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin
Mary and the guardian, or foster father, of Christ.
(a) God the Father is the only true Father of Jesus Christ.
(b) Christ was the only child of Mary. The brothers and sisters of Christ mentioned in
the Bible were cousins.
(c) Saint Joseph's high dignity, grace, holiness, and glory have their source in the
fact that he was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of the Son
of God. Saint Joseph is the patron of the Universal Church.
89. When was Christ born?
Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Christmas Day, in Bethlehem, more than
nineteen hundred years ago.
The Baltimore Catechism, Lesson 7.
Electronic text (c) Copyright EWTN 1996. All rights reserved.