Chapter 3:
The Promise Is Fulfilled in Christ
THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
ANTICIPATORY SET
Incorporate a reading of the Annunciation (cf. Lk 1:26–38) into the
class’s opening prayer.
You may wish to make this the basis of a meditation during which
you pray the first decade of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
BASIC QUESTIONS
 Why is Mary said to be “full of grace”?
 How did Mary respond to grace?
 Who is St. Joseph?
KEY IDEAS
 Mary is “full of grace” because of her Immaculate Conception, a gift
appropriate in virtue of her role as Mother of God.
 Wholly borne by grace, Mary assented to and cooperated in God’s
plan and never committed an actual sin.
 Mary’s spouse, Joseph, a “just man,” also freely cooperated with God’s
plan and became Jesus’ foster father, helping provide a human family
for Christ.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the Paschal Mystery?
The redemption accomplished by the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of
Jesus Christ.
What is the geographical difference between the events of the
Annunciation and the Nativity?
The Annunciation took place in Nazareth, a small town in the region of the
north of Israel called Galilee, whereas the Nativity occurred in Bethlehem
near Jerusalem in Judea.
What does “full of grace” mean, according to CCC 490?
It means that Mary was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to someone
who would be the mother of the Savior. Mary was wholly borne by God’s
grace, which made it possible for her to make her free assent of faith.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students write for a few minutes on the questions listed under
“This Chapter Will Address Several Questions” that they currently know
the most about.
Briefly share responses.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What does “full of grace” mean in relation to the term
“kecharitomene”?
Luke relates the angel Gabriel giving this Greek word, which we translate
as “full of grace,” as a proper name for Mary, a term never before used as
a title in Sacred Scripture.
What is the relationship of “full of grace” to the doctrine of the
Immaculate Conception?
“Full of grace” expresses the fully developed doctrine of the Immaculate
Conception, which is “The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance
of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty
God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race,
was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the significance of the name that God gives his Son?
The name, Jesus, means, “God saves.” It expresses Jesus’ identity and
mission as the Son of God who would save the people from their sins.
Why is Mary traditionally called the spouse of the Holy Spirit?
Because, as Gabriel explained, the child would be born of the Holy Spirit.
For the first and only time in human history a woman would conceive a
child by divine intervention.
What does the Virgin Birth mean?
It means that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in
the womb of the Virgin Mary. Jesus was conceived “by the Holy Spirit
without human seed.”
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students work with a partner to make a bullet point summary
of implications of the Immaculate Conception for Mary based on the
paragraph beginning,
“This perennial teaching of the Church” (p. 73) and CCC 493.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the theological meaning of Jesus’ divine sonship?
Jesus is a divine Person with two natures, one human and one divine.
What is the relationship between Mary’s “yes” and Eve’s “no”?
Mary’s “yes” to God overturned Eve’s “no” to him, which created the
need for a Savior.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the Incarnation?
It is the conception of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the womb of the
Blessed Virgin Mary.
In what sense does salvation depend on Mary?
The Incarnation required Mary’s consent.
What is Mary’s “fiat”?
“Fiat” is Latin for “be it done to me” and refers to Mary’s consent to the
Angel’s announcement.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
GUIDED EXERCISE
Conduct a think/pair/share on the following question:
How does Mary fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy that “a virgin shall conceive and
bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (which means, God
with us)”?
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How do Mary’s and Joseph’s cooperation indicate man’s role in
God’s salvation?
God counts on faith-filled human cooperation to implement his plan of
salvation. Man’s role is to cooperate freely with God.
What does Scripture mean when it refers to Joseph as a “just man”?
It means he was someone faithful to God’s will.
What was Joseph’s role in Jesus’ life?
He was Jesus’ legal, not biological, father. God wanted Jesus to be born
into a family so he could be formed by both a father and a mother, thus
sharing fully in the human experience.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What was Joseph’s annunciation?
Joseph had discovered that Mary was going to have a baby. In a dream
he learned from an angel that he should not be afraid to take Mary as
his wife because the child was conceived of the Holy Spirit.
What was Joseph’s “fiat”?
Without saying a word, Joseph “did as the angel of the Lord
commanded him.”
Which persons best exemplify cooperation with God in the work
of salvation?
The saints, beginning with Mary and Joseph.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
CLOSURE
Have the students write a paragraph explaining the meaning
of the Angel’s greeting that Mary is “full of grace.”
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Reading
 Genealogy of Christ through the sidebar The
Ark of the Covenant (pp. 76–79)
Study Questions
 Questions 1-6.
 Practical Exercise 1.
Workbook
 Questions 1–10.
1. The Announcement of Jesus’ Incarnation
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Have the students create a graphic organizer comparing the two
“annunciations” to each Mary and Joseph.
Possible categories to compare them are:
 To whom the announcement is made.
 Who makes the announcement.
 The role of fear.
 The message of the announcement.
 How the persons respond.
2. The Genealogies and the Visitation
ANTICIPATORY SET
Incorporate a reading of the events surrounding the Visitation
(cf. Lk 1: 5–25, 39–80) into the class’s opening prayer.
You may wish to make this the basis of a meditation during which
you pray the second decade of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
BASIC QUESTIONS
 What do the genealogies of Christ teach?
 How is Mary the Ark of the Covenant?
KEY IDEAS
 Luke’s and Matthew’s genealogies teach us that Jesus Christ is the son
of Abraham in the line of the Davidic kings and a son of Adam whose
salvation is for all men: both the Chosen People and Gentiles of every age
and condition.
 Mary’s visit to Elizabeth reveals that the pregnant Mary is the Ark of
the New Covenant.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
GUIDED EXERCISE
Conduct a think/pair/share on the following question:
How does Matthew’s genealogy imply that Jesus is the perfect
descendant or “doubly perfect” son of David and Abraham?
2. Man’s Early Immortality
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the most basic difference between Luke’s and Matthew’s
genealogies of Christ’s ancestry?
Luke begins with Jesus and traces him back to Adam. Matthew begins
with Abraham and traces his descendants forward through David to Jesus.
What is the basic point of Luke’s genealogy?
Jesus is the “new Adam.” Not only is he a descendant of Adam but he
will redeem every descendant of Adam.
Is Matthew’s genealogy a listing of Jewish saints?
No. It includes great figures in Jewish history as well as horrible failures.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How does Matthew’s genealogy support Jesus’ kingship?
It shows that Jesus is descended from the long line of Davidic kings.
What is significant in Matthew’s inclusion of women in his
genealogy?
It was customary to limit genealogies to a person’s male ancestors,
reflecting the attitude of the “insignificance” of women. Matthew’s
inclusion reflected that Christ would restore women to their original
dignity and equality with men.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How did Pilate acknowledge Jesus’ universal kingship?
He directed that a parchment with the words, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King
of the Jews,” be placed on the Cross in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin,
languages, which represent the universality of Christ’s kingship, which
includes both the Chosen People and the Gentiles.
What is one way that David’s transfer of the Ark to Jerusalem and
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth were similar?
When the Ark was brought into Jerusalem, David danced for joy. When
Mary came into Elizabeth’s presence, the baby in her womb “leapt for joy.”
2. Man’s Early Immortality
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why is Mary properly called the Ark of the New Covenant?
In her womb, she carried Jesus Christ, the presence of God on earth, who
would establish the New Covenant in his Blood.
How does Elizabeth acknowledge that Mary is the Mother of God?
Elizabeth calls Mary “the Mother of my Lord.”
How is the Hail Mary prayer one way in which Mary’s declaration
that “All generations will call me blessed” came true?
In the Hail Mary, we repeat the words of the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth, a
prayer said by millions every day.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Do we know why Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth?
We don’t know why. We only know she did immediately after the angel told
her that Elizabeth was going to have a child in three months, the length of
time Mary stayed with her. Extension: It was probably to help Elizabeth in
the final months of her pregnancy.
What is the Ark of the Covenant?
It was an ornate box, designed by God, which contained some manna,
Aaron’s rod, and the tables of the covenant.
What did the Ark of the Covenant represent for the Chosen People?
The presence of God.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students complete the following table to show how Mary
is the Ark of the New Covenant.
Content
Nourishment
Authority
Teaching
Ark of the Covenant
The Pregnant Mary
2. Man’s Early Immortality
GUIDED EXERCISE
Content
Nourishment
Authority
Teaching
Ark of the Covenant
The Pregnant Mary
The Ark contained a jar of manna,
the heavenly food with which God
fed the Chosen People while they
wandered in the desert.
Mary’s womb held Jesus who called
himself the true Bread from Heaven
who gives us his Body and Blood as
spiritual food and drink.
Aaron’s rod indicated his authority
and leadership over Israel as priest.
Jesus in Mary’s womb would one day
reign over the universal and everlasting
Kingdom of God. Jesus would be
eternal High Priest of the New
Covenant.
The Ark held the two tablets of the Jesus would correct and perfect the
law, which God gave to Moses.
Mosaic Law with his
Commandment of Love.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
CLOSURE
Have the students write a paragraph summarizing either what
the genealogies reveal about Christ or how Mary is the Ark of
the New Covenant.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Reading
 The Birth of the Redeemer through The Finding in the Temple
and Christ’s Obedience (pp. 80–86)
Study Questions
 Questions 7-12.
 Practical Exercise 2.
Workbook
 Questions 11-12.
2. Man’s Early Immortality
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Have the students work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 2
on what ideas are present in Mary’s Magnificat (cf. Lk 1:46–55).
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
ANTICIPATORY SET
Incorporate a reading of the Nativity (cf. Lk 2:1–21) into the class’s
opening prayer.
You may wish to make this the basis of a meditation during which
you pray the third decade of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
BASIC QUESTIONS
 What is the Nativity?
 What is Christian poverty?
 What is the Presentation?
 What is the Finding in the Temple?
 Why did Jesus live obedience during his hidden years?
KEY IDEAS
 Jesus was born in poverty in a stable in Bethlehem, witnessed by lowly shepherds
and wise Gentiles.
 We are called to live the virtue of Christian poverty, which is detachment from
material things.
 At the Presentation, Jesus was recognized as the Messiah by Anna and Simeon.
 At the Finding of Jesus in the Temple the child was revealed as wise Son of the
Father.
 Jesus lived obedience in his ordinary, hidden life to undo the disobedience of
Adam.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What are examples of the poverty that Christ lived at the beginning
and end of his life?
He was born in a stable and on the Cross he died stripped of everything.
What is Christian poverty?
It is detachment from the material possessions of the world.
How is Christian poverty both negative and positive?
It is negative in that it means voluntarily not having or using things. It is
positive in that this poverty gives us the freedom to put material things in
their place and God in his.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Who are the first persons to receive the good news of Jesus’ Birth?
The shepherds who were watching their flocks in the fields surrounding
Bethlehem.
Why were the shepherds unlikely candidates to receive the news that a
new King of the Jews had been born?
They were poor and ignorant members of the lowest class in Jewish society.
What does the privilege the shepherds received probably signify?
It is for the poor and the humble that Christ had come.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What does the angels’ announcement “for to you is born this day in
the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” mean?
(1) Christ was born for them, the poor and lowly. (2) He is the one indicated
in Micah’s prophecy that a ruler will come from the city of David, and so
from David’s line. (3) He is the long-awaited Messiah. (4) Jesus as Lord
means he is Son of God.
What is the significance of Christ being placed in a manger?
It shows his poverty and that he came for the poor.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the significance of the visit from the wise men from the east?
The visit from these Gentiles show that Christ came not only for Jews but
for all people.
What is the significance of the three gifts the wise men brought?
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh represented, respectively, Christ’s kingship, his
priesthood, and his crucifixion.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students free write on ways they can practice a voluntary
poverty in their current lives and what they might get out of it.
Share responses.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Can we live without material possessions?
No. It is impossible.
Why are material things a problem for religious life?
Because they can become our “gods,” suffocating friendship with Christ.
How is the episode with the rich young man a warning about attachment
to material things?
Even though he was obviously a good man, obeying all the commandments, he
turned down the offer to be “perfect” and to be a follower of Christ because of
his many possessions.
What is the message of CCC 544?
God has a preference for the poor and lowly.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What was the dual purpose of the Presentation ritual?
The cleansing of the mother from ritual impurity and the redeeming of the
firstborn son.
Why should Mary and Jesus have been exempt from these sacrifices?
Mary had no need of purification, and Jesus didn’t need to be redeemed because
he is the Redeemer.
What conclusion can be drawn from the fact that the Holy Family
nevertheless carried out the precepts of the Mosaic Law?
They wanted to be obedient in everything.
What did Simeon and Anna recognize in the baby Jesus?
They recognized him as the Messiah.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students read the Canticle of Simeon (cf. Lk 2:29–32) and
work with a partner to explain what it means.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why was Jesus able to be lost for a whole day without his parents
knowing it?
The men and women were traveling separately in large groups. Jesus was
twelve and he would have been able to travel with either the men or women.
Both Joseph and Mary probably though Jesus was with the other.
How long was Jesus lost to Mary and Joseph?
Three days.
How was the finding in the Temple a revelation of Christ’s divinity?
Even though Jesus was only twelve, the teachers of Judaism were amazed at
Jesus’ understanding. Jesus told his parents he was in his Father’s house,
meaning that God was his Father.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What virtue seems to be overriding in Jesus’ hidden life?
Obedience.
What does obedience involve inside a person?
Obedience essentially involves submitting one’s actions to the will of another
and, in many instances, consists in renouncing one’s own particular desires
and preferences in deference to someone else’s.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
CLOSURE
Have the students write a paragraph summarizing Jesus’ early life
using the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Reading
 Why the Word Became Flesh through The Word Became Flesh
to Manifest God’s Love (pp. 86–91)
Study Questions
 Questions: 13-22.
 Practical Exercise 3.
Workbook
 Questions 13-20.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Conduct a mini-lecture on the evangelical counsels.
 Christ requires all Christians to live the Ten Commandments interpreted
in the sense of the new Law of Love. If we reject these we cannot be saved,
so they are obligatory.
 There are also additional “counsels,” which Jesus advised but did not
require, as when he told the rich young man, “If you would be perfect. . . .”
He also spoke of voluntary celibacy for the kingdom of God.
 Christian tradition has identified three particular freely adoptable counsels,
called the evangelical counsels because they come from the Gospel and can
help perfect people on earth: they are chastity, poverty, and obedience.
3. Jesus’ Hidden Life
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT (continued)
 Chastity means celibacy for the kingdom of God in which one voluntarily
gives up the good of marriage.
 Poverty means giving up the ownership and the security of possessions for the
sake of the kingdom of Heaven.
 Obedience means rather than seeking honors and ruling over others, one
becomes subject to a superior.
 The evangelical counsels are the basis of monasticism and the religious orders
that have done so much good for the Church and her individual members.
 It is possible for a person to be married, rich, and powerful and live an
exemplary Christian life if he or she also practices chastity, a voluntary
detachment from material possessions, and humility.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
ANTICIPATORY SET
Teach the students the Angelus (p. T194).
Explain that the Angelus honors Mary and calls to mind the
Incarnation in which the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
Have them pray it for the class’s opening prayer.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
BASIC QUESTIONS
 Why did God become man?
KEY IDEAS
 God became man to reconcile us with God by making expiation
for our sins by his life and sufferings.
 God became man to show us the depths of his love.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, why is it appropriate that
God the Son be entrusted with the redemption of the world?
Since in the original creation all things were made through him it is appropriate
that all things would be redeemed by him.
What are the four reasons presented in this chapter for why God became
man?
(1) To make expiation for our sins. (2) To manifest the depths of God’s love.
(3) To give us a model of holiness. (4) To allow us to share in God’s divine life.
What do reconcile and expiation mean?
Reconcile means to be put in a right relationship. Expiation means to pay what
is owed as a penalty for wrong doing.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why did our first parents’ sin create an “ever-widening” rift between
God and the human race?
Original Sin opened the rift and every subsequent actual sin widens it.
Why is Original Sin—and by extension every mortal sin—infinitely
serious?
Because these are offenses against a Person of infinite dignity.
Why is it impossible for a human being or all human beings together to
offer just atonement for sin?
Because we are limited beings, we can only offer limited reparation. But,
because infinite reparation is called for, only an infinite being—God—can offer
adequate reparation.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why is it necessary, though, that man offer reparation to God for sin?
Because man is the one who brought sin into the world.
What exactly was the redemptive sacrifice that Christ offered?
Every action of Christ on earth from his conception until his Ascensions
was redemptive, but especially, of course, his Passion.
What are some less dramatic examples of Christ’s redemptive actions?
Some examples are Christ’s poverty, which enriches us; his hidden life of
submission, which atones for our disobedience; his preaching, which purifies
us; and his taking on our infirmities, which heals and exorcises us.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is a second reason God became man?
To show how much he loves us.
How does creation itself show God’s love?
God had no reason to create anything except to share his goodness and
happiness. Since he did create, it shows he loves his creation.
How does God’s plan of redemption show his love?
Since in his plan he would share in the human experience and suffer for our
sins, he shows radical love for us.
What is the greatest love of which man is capable?
To lay down his life for his friends.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students work with a partner to build an argument to show
why the Incarnation was “necessary” for us to be reconciled to God.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why can every person who suffers feel close to Christ?
Because Christ not only suffered but suffered for them.
How was Christ’s Passion a seeming tragedy for Jesus’ followers?
It looked like Jesus entirely failed in his mission.
Why is Christ’s Passion part of Adam’s “felix culpa”?
Christ won our salvation and showed the depths of his love, something that
would not have happened without Adam’s sin.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
GUIDED EXERCISE
St. Paul spoke of “filling up what was lacking in the sufferings of
Christ.” Work with a partner to come up with ten ways a student
can make reparation for the sins of the world in ordinary,
nondramatic ways.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
CLOSURE
Have the students write a paragraph summarizing the two
reasons presented in this lesson why God became man.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Reading
 The Word Became Flesh to Offer a Model of Holiness through The
Word Became Flesh to Allow a Share in Divine Life (pp. 91– 96)
Study Questions
 Questions: 23-29.
 Practical Exercises 4-5.
Workbook
 Questions 21-26.
4. Why the Word Became Flesh:
To Reconcile Us and Show God’s Love
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Have the students work with a partner to select a Passion narrative from
one of the four Gospels and to list every suffering Christ endured as
reported in that account.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
ANTICIPATORY SET
Introduce the students to meditative prayer.
Explain meditative prayer as defined in CCC 2723.
Have the students turn to the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in their
Bibles (cf. Lk 16: 19–31). Incorporate a prayerful reading of this parable into
the class’s opening prayer.
Then give the students five minutes to think about the parable, talk to God
about it, and then reflect on how this parable might relate to their lives.
Then give them five minutes to free write on what happened inside them
during their meditation.
Share responses.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
BASIC QUESTIONS
 Why did God become man?
KEY IDEAS
 God became man to give us a model of holiness for us to imitate.
 God also became man to give us a share in his own divine life by
making us his children.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is a third reason God became Incarnate?
To give us a model of holiness for us to imitate.
How do we make Christ incarnate in our lives through reading the Gospels?
We can make Christ incarnate in our lives by reading the Gospels prayerfully, using
meditation and contemplation, and then making resolutions, which we put into
effect.
What is meditation?
It is prayer which engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire, relating what
we read to our lives.
What is contemplation?
It is a silent, loving “looking” at and listening to God.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What are the Beatitudes in regard to our spiritual development?
They are a kind of “manual” to reach true spiritual greatness.
What does it mean to make a resolution?
It means to make a decision to take some concrete action. In regard to the spiritual
life, it means to make a decision to do something or to act in a different way in
order to be more like God or to do his will better.
How can we work toward heroic sanctity?
By putting Christ’s words and example into practice.
Why should Christ be our model of imitation?
Because he is the perfect man.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students complete the following table to synthesize the material on
ways we can imitate Christ. For each quality, provide a simple definition, one
example from Christ’s life, and one way a student could live the same quality in
his or her own life.
Wound
Service
Sacrifice
Charity
Humility
Obedience
Prayer
Definition
Example from Christ’s Life
One Way to Live this Quality
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
Wound
Definition
GUIDED EXERCISE
Example from Christ’s Life
One Way to Live this Quality
Service
Doing something to help
another person.
Christ washed the feet of his
disciples at the Last Supper.
Putting away the dishes when
you come home from school
because it needs to be done.
Sacrifice
Giving up something or
enduring something voluntarily.
Dying on the Cross.
Taking the smaller piece of
chocolate cake.
Charity
Desiring the best for another
person.
Wanting to save humanity from
sin and death.
Explaining to a friend that
looking at pornography on the
Internet is not good for him.
Making yourself “small,”
realizing you are not that
important.
Enduring mockery and abuse,
which was completely
undeserved.
Not justifying yourself when
corrected by a friend, teacher, or
parent.
Doing what someone in
authority tells you, even when
you do not want to.
Jesus said to his Father, “Not my
will but thine be done,” when he
did not want to endure his
coming Passion.
Not complaining when assigned
homework, and then doing it.
Talking to God.
On the Cross, Jesus said, “Father
forgive them, they know not
what they do.”
Offering our day to God first
thing in the morning.
Humility
Obedience
Prayer
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is a fourth reason God became a human being?
God wants to give us some of his own divine life.
What is sanctifying grace?
It is the free and unmerited favor of God given through the Sacraments. This
grace heals human nature wounded by sin by giving man a share in the divine
life infused into the soul by the Holy Spirit.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What are actual graces?
They are specific interventions by God that help us, whether at the beginning
of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification.
What is the primary way God gives us both sanctifying and actual grace?
The Seven Sacraments.
Which is the Sacrament that establishes sanctifying grace in us?
Baptism.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students work with a partner to identify three ways St. Charles
Borromeo lived a life of Christian service.
Share responses.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How is our participation in divinity the opposite of what Adam and Eve
tried to accomplish?
Adam and Eve tried be become “like gods” apart from God. We become like
gods through God, by participating in the life of the Blessed Trinity.
How does sanctifying grace change our relationship with God the
Father?
We go from being images of God to sons and daughters of God. Extension:
This is also called divine filiation.
How is divine filiation more than just imitation of Christ?
We actually share Christ’s life.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity?
It means that the Blessed Trinity actually lives in our souls through the gift of
Baptism.
What is required for us to be intimate with God?
We have to make an effort to conform our lives to the words and actions of
Christ: “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves
me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and
manifest myself to him” (Jn 14: 21).
Can a person become Christlike through his or her own effort alone?
No; he or she must remain united to Christ—like a branch to a vine—so as to
cooperate with his grace.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the new commandment of Christ?
You must “love one another as I [Christ] have loved you.”
What did St. Paul mean when he wrote that through Christ we become
“gods”?
He didn’t mean we become omnipotent, omniscient, or eternal, but rather we
become “partakers of the divine nature” and become adopted children of God
the Father in union with Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
According to CCC 460 what does it mean to be “partakers of the divine
nature”?
It means becoming sons of God.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
CLOSURE
Have the students write a paragraph on the two reasons God
became man presented in this lesson.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Reading
Christ’s Life Was for Redemption through Conclusion
(pp. 97–101)
Study Questions
 Questions: 30-39.
 Practical Exercise 6.
Workbook
 Questions 27-31.
5. Why the Word Became Flesh: To Model
Holiness and To Let Us Share in His Nature
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Have the students complete Practical Exercise 6, reading a brief life of a
Catholic saint and then writing a paragraph about how that saint’s life
reflected one of the reasons why God became man.
6. Redemption
ANTICIPATORY SET
Incorporate John 8:2–11 (the woman caught in adultery) into the
class’s opening prayer and then have a class discussion, asking
students to identify how Jesus’ actions and words caused contrition
in the Pharisees and show compassion to the woman.
6. Redemption
BASIC QUESTIONS
 What part of Christ’s life is redemptive?
 What is the meaning for us of Christ’s hidden life?
 What is the power of Christ’s words?
 Is Christ compassionate?
 What is justification?
KEY IDEAS
 All of Christ’s life has redemptive value, from his Incarnation until his Ascension.
 The redemptive value of Christ’s hidden life shows our ordinary life is also a
means of sanctification.
 Christ’s words have power to bring us to conversion, forgiveness of sins, and
transformation.
 Christ’s compassion is available to every person in his or her suffering.
 Christ has justified us, that is paid the debt owed for sin and transformed our
souls.
6. Redemption
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students consider the following episode from Jesus’ life:
A woman named Martha received [Jesus] into her house. And she
had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his
teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went
to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to
serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;
one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall
not be taken away from her.” (Lk 10:38–42)
Ask the students what advice they would give to Martha to turn her
activity into prayer.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
In theology, what is a mystery?
It is a reality that can never be fully comprehended by the light of human
reason alone.
What portion of Christ’s life is a mystery?
Christ’s entire life is a mystery of redemption, from the Incarnation
through his Ascension into Heaven.
When did Christ’s intervention in creation begin?
At the creation, everything that was made was made through him.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What does it mean to say that Christ is like us in every way but sin?
In his human nature, Christ experienced everything we experience but
without ever sinning. Extension: Christ did not program computers on
earth, but he did do work, so even computer programmers can relate to
him. Christ did not marry and have sexual relations, but he had a human
body so he did have a normal attraction to the opposite sex, without either
sinning or being inclined to sin in that regard.
Why is Christ’s human nature a Sacrament?
It is a sign and instrument of grace.
What aspect of Christ’s life cannot be brought to our prayer?
No part. All of it can be meditated on to discover more about redemption.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What are some examples of Christ’s hidden life?
In his hidden life, Christ lived with his family, worked at a trade, and had a
circle of friends.
What are some examples of everyday activities we engage in that can
be means of union with Christ?
Mowing a lawn, writing a term paper, being a good friend, and giving
someone a kind greeting.
How do we turn all of our activities into prayer?
We do them out of love of God with as much human perfection as
possible.
6. Redemption
GUIDED EXERCISE
Have the students work with a partner to come up with two
ways that Christ “gives rest” to or lightens the burden of
suffering persons who come to him.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What does it mean to say that the words of Christ are redemptive and
can purify consciences?
It means that the actual words Christ spoke save us and take away our sins.
What is an example of the power of Christ’s words in the
Sacraments?
When a priest repeats Christ’s words from the Last Supper at Mass, “This is
my body,” the bread over which he says the words actually transforms into
the Body of Christ.
How do Christ’s words provoke conversion?
Hearing them teaches us to love our enemies, practice detachment from
material possessions, embrace our crosses, and forgive others.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How do Christ’s words help us examine our consciences?
Christ’s words prompt us to see the gap between Jesus’ teaching and
conduct and our own. This can cut us to the heart and lead to contrition
and conversion.
What is the two-step process that transforms us into another Christ?
(1) Bringing the Gospel texts to prayer. (2) Striving to put them into
practice.
What is compassion?
Compassion is a special kind of love in which a person identifies with the
sufferings of another with a desire to relieve his or her pain.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How did Christ show compassion during his earthly life?
He fed the hungry, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, gave
sight to the blind, forgave sins, and so on.
Is Christ’s compassion limited to the time he was on earth?
No. It extends to every person in every age.
How is Christ’s healing ministry not just physical but allegorical as
well?
Healing a leper, for example, is an image of healing from sin, a kind of
spiritual disfigurement and uncleanness.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why did Christ not abolish every instance of suffering from the
earth?
He did not come to remove every suffering, but to redeem men from sin,
which is the greatest evil.
What is justification?
The sacrifice Christ made for the sins of mankind, which paid the debt
owed, and which reconciled us with God.
What is the etymology of “redemption”?
It comes from a Latin word redemere, meaning to buy back.
6. Redemption
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What does redemption give the soul in addition to forgiveness of sins?
It gives the soul sanctifying grace, the infused virtues of faith, hope, and
charity, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
What does redemption take away and give?
Redemption takes away sin, which gives us a new start. It also transforms the
soul, producing a profound change in the interior of the human person.
6. Redemption
CLOSURE
Have the students write a paragraph summarizing one of the five key
ideas of this lesson.
6. Redemption
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Study Questions
 Questions: 40-51.
Workbook
 Questions 32-35.
6. Redemption
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Have the students select a passage of any of the four Gospels at random
and free write for five minutes on how the theme of redemption is
present in that passage.
Share responses.
The End
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Chapter 1: Knowing God Through Natural Revelation, …