Taken from the Apostles' Creed Section, THE CATECHISM EXPLAINED, Benziger Bros. 1899
with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1927

Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, is the Son of God made man; hence He is God Himself.

The Incarnation of the Son of God.

The heathen had very early conceived the idea that God had descended from Heaven and mixed with men; the Greek mythology is full of it. Now God had actually come down to earth (John 3:13) at the moment of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-28.

1. The second Divine person became man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the action of the Holy Ghost at the moment of the Annunciation.

Louis of Granada writes: "Just as the sun must be wrapped in Clouds if we are to gaze upon it with eyes undimmed, so God wrapped Himself in flesh as in a cloud, so that the eyes of our soul might bear to look upon Him." Human thought must be clothed in words to reach our ears; so God clothed Himself in human nature to reach the souls of men. "The Word [i.e., the Son of God] was made flesh [i.e., became man] and dwelt amongst us" (John 1:14). The Incarnation took place in the instant when Our Lady uttered the words: "Be it done unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38). They err who think that the human nature was first formed and afterwards united to the Divine person, just as the Valentinians were wrong in asserting that Christ brought His human body from Heaven. Christ received His body from the Virgin Mary. He was made from a woman (Gal. 4:4), and was of the seed of David (Rom. 1:3). The Son of man came down from Heaven, it is true (John 3:13), in regard of the Divine person, but not in regard of His human nature; we must not, however, imagine that the Divine essence came down from Heaven and united itself to the human nature; this would mean that all three persons of the Blessed Trinity has assumed our human nature. Such a thing is impossible, for such a union would require a change in the Divine essence, which is incapable of change, Only one of the Divine persons, the Son of God, assumed our human nature. God (i.e., a Divine person) not the Godhead (i.e., the Divine essence) became man. There is, however, an intimate union between the nature of God and the nature of man in the person of the Son; and it is certain that all the Divine persons had their share in the work of the Incarnation, for in the work which God does outside Himself all three persons of the Trinity have their share.

The Incarnation is in a peculiar manner the work of the three Divine persons.

The three Divine persons formed a human soul and a human body and united to them the Second Person of the Trinity. As St. Augustine puts it: "In the guitar the sound seems to come from the strings alone, yet three elements are wanted, the human hand, the skill of the player and then the string." Or as St. Fulgentius explains it: "Body and soul are necessary for a man to profit by his food, yet the body alone receives the nourishment." So the three persons of the Trinity co-operated in the Incarnation, but the Second Person only was united to the flesh. The Incarnation is ascribed in a special manner to the Holy Ghost, because it is the greatest work of God's love. The Church teaches that the works of love are ascribed to the Holy Ghost, Who is the love of the Father and the Son. According to the Fathers there is no doubt that either God the Father or the Holy Ghost might have become man; but it was meet that He Who is the Son of God from all eternity should become the Son of man; that He Who is the perfect image of God should restore to mankind that supernatural image which had been lost by sin.

2. The Father of Jesus is therefore God the Father in Heaven; Joseph, the spouse of Mary, is only the foster-father of Jesus.

St. Gregory the Great tells us that Christ is the Son of God, not only because He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, but also because God formed His sacred humanity. In the first promise of the Redeemer as we read it in the Protevangelium Christ is called, not the seed of man, but the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), and in the genealogy of Christ recorded by St. Matthew, no mention is made of His descent from Joseph, but only from Mary (Matt. 1:16). Yet Christ was commonly thought to be the Son of Joseph (Luke 3:93). Mary was espoused to St. Joseph that no accusation might be made against her by the world, and that she might have in him a protector. About St. Joseph we have the following facts: He was a carpenter (Matt. 13:55); he was a just man (Matt. 1:19). St. Jerome tells us he was perfect in every virtue, and St. Thomas Aquinas gives as the reason for his holiness that he was so close to the fount of holiness, just as the spring is clearer as we approach its source. St. Francis of Sales tells us that St. Joseph was conspicuous for his purity, and therein surpassed all the Saints and even the Angels. To him was granted the honor which kings and prophets sighed for in vain; he might take his Lord into his arms, kiss Him. speak with Him, clothe Him, protect Him (St. Bernard). He was called father by Him Whose Father was in Heaven (St. Basil). Many Saints assert that St. Joseph has a very high place in Heaven as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin, and that he will be called upon by men in the last days of the world and give signs of his great power. St. Joseph is the patron of the Church (Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1870); i.e., his prayers for the Church have great efficacy at the throne of God. He is also the patron of a happy death, dying as he did himself in the arms of Jesus and Mary. He is also invoked for temporal wants, since his care on this earth was the support of the Holy Family. St. Thomas Aquinas says that St. Joseph received power from God to help in all necessities; and St. Teresa declared that no prayer of hers to St. Joseph in temporal or spiritual need was ever left unanswered. The Catholic Church has always honored St. Joseph in a special manner, after Our Lady and above the other Saints.

3. The Incarnation of the Son of God is a mystery which we cannot understand, but only admire and honor.

The conception and Incarnation are as little understood by as the flowering of the rod of Aaron (Numb. 17). "Shut thy eyes, O Reason," says St. Bernard, " for under the veil of faith thou canst see the sheen of this mystery, just as the eye of the body can bear the light of the sun when shaded by a cloud." "I know that the Son of God became man, but how I do not know" (St. John Chrysostom). The following are illustrations which have been used to convey the idea of the union of the Godhead and the human nature in Christ: The divinity and the humanity are united in Christ as body and soul are united in man (Athanasian Creed). If spirit and matter, so essentially distinct, are united in man, all the less matter of surprise is it that the divinity and humanity, which after all have their points of resemblance, are found united in Christ. "Speech is a sort of incarnation," says St. Augustine. "At first the word is conceived as a mere thought, something purely spiritual. If that thought is to be conveyed to another, it is put in words; yet, though it appeals to the senses, it is none the less produced from the soul. So the Word of God has appeared to many and ceases not to remain with the Father." Other illustrations to show the action of the Holy Ghost in Christ's conception: St. Isidore tells us that Christ was formed from Mary just as Eve was formed from Adam. The Incarnation resembles in some respects the creation, when everything was produced by God's almighty power without co-operation of man.

The mystery of the Incarnation is commemorated by the ringing of the Angelus bell.

The words of the Angelus recall in the most lively way the scene of the Annunciation. At the words in the Credo of the Mass: "He took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost" the celebrant always kneels, also at the words in the Last Gospel: "And the Word was made flesh." On Christmas Day and the Annunciation (the twenty-fifth of March), the sacred ministers at High Mass kneel on the altar steps and bow their heads at the Et incarnatus est" of the Credo. The Angels also venerate the mystery of the Incarnation.

4. The Incarnation of the Son of God was necessary to give perfect satisfaction to the injured majesty of God.

God might have chosen some other means for redeeming man. He might, by special exercise of His goodness, have been content with an imperfect satisfaction, or have remitted the guilt without demanding any satisfaction at all. St. Augustine on this subject writes: "There are some foolish people who think that God could not have redeemed mankind otherwise than by Himself taking flesh, and suffering at the hands of sinners. He might have followed quite another plan." As we shall see in treating of the death of Christ God wished to have perfect satisfaction, to display His justice as well as His mercy. Perfect satisfaction could be given only by a God-man. The greatness of an injury is measured by the dignity of the person who suffers; hence the offence given to God is infinitely great. No finite being, not even the most perfect Angel, could atone for an offence against God, only God Himself. "So that," to use the words of St. Anselm, "to redeem man it was necessary that God should become man." As God only He could not suffer; as man only He could not redeem; hence the Godhead assumed a human nature (St. Proclus). If a valuable portrait be damaged beyond recognition it cannot be restored unless the sitter present himself to the artist; thus God had to come down on earth to restore His likeness in man (St. Athanasius).

The God-man could satisfy perfectly the injured majesty of God by appearing on earth in a state of lowliness.

Had He appeared in His majesty men would never have dared to crucify Him (1 Cor. 2:8). Like Codrus, the Athenian king, He secured victory to His Own by dying for them. The oracle had promised the Athenians Victory if their king died by the hands of the enemy, and Codrus, disguising his royal dress, marched into the enemy's camp and was by them put to death. The prophets had foretold, that mankind should be saved by the death of its King, and Christ, taking on the form of a slave, was put to death. The evil spirits fled when they saw Whom they had killed. "If," as Louis of Granada says, "a king would prove his courage in battle he must put away all symbols of his rank, to proclaim them only when he is victor;" and this is what Our Lord did. He will come again with great power and majesty (Matt. 26:64). St. Thomas says that we cannot affirm, with certainty that God would have become man had man not sinned; it certainly would not have been beyond His power.

5. The Second Person always remained God though He became man, and by the Incarnation He lost none of His dignity.

When we assert that the Son of God came down on earth, we do not mean that He left Heaven. So a star may become risible to us without leaving the firmament. As St. Ambrose says, the divinity of Christ is not destroyed, but only hidden by His human nature, just as the sun is not put out, but veiled only by the clouds. And as the thought, because spoken, does not cease to be a product of the soul, so the Word of God did not cease to be with the Father (St. Augustine). As a word, though spoken only for the benefit of one person may be heard by all the bystanders, so the Divine Word was not limited by the body which He assumed, but still fills Heaven and earth. Moreover God lost none of His dignity by the Incarnation. The sunlight which plays over filth is not defiled; still less is the Godhead defiled by taking flesh from the pure womb of Mary (St. Odilo). If a prince put on a slave's dress and in it picked a precious ring from the gutter to place it on his finger there is no loss of dignity; so, too, the Son of God was not degraded by taking on Himself the form of a slave, and coming down on earth to save souls and gain them to Him (Tert.). When the Apostle says that Jesus Christ debased Himself by taking the form of a servant (Phil 2:7), he does not mean that God lost anything, but only that He assumed a nature lower than His Own, and gave us thereby an example of humility. "He humbled Himself" (Phil. 2:8).

6. By the Incarnation of the Son of God all the members of the human race have acquired a special dignity.

The human nature of the Son of God is like the yeast which leavens the whole mass (Matt. 13:33). Christ is the vine, and we are the branches (John 15). The Angels even fall short of us in this respect, for though they are exempt from sickness and death they cannot claim God for their Brother; were they capable of envy, they would envy us that honor. As St. Ambrose says: "The Almighty took the form of a slave that the slave might become a king." "The Son of God became the Son of man that the children of men might become children of God" (St. Athanasius). "Oh, what a wondrous redemption is that where man is, as it were, put on a par with God!" (St. Hilary.)

What Truths follow from the Mystery of the Redemption?

1. Christ is true God and true man; hence we call Him the God-man.

Every being gets its nature whence it has its origin; thus a child gets its human nature by being born of man. Christ, therefore, having His origin from God the Father, derives from Him His Divine nature, and by being born of Mary, derives from her His human nature. He claimed both Divine and human attributes. He said, for example, "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28), and yet on another occasion: "The Father and I are one" (John 10:30). As God He calls Mary "woman," as on the occasion of the wedding-feast at Cana, and as man He calls her "Mother." He called Himself at times "Son of God" and again "Son of man."

Christ, as man, is like to us in all things except sin (Council of Chalcedon).

Christ became like to His brethren (Heb. 2:17); He was made in the likeness of man and in habit formed as a man (Phil. 2:7). Christ had a human body, with all its consequent needs of eating and drinking and sleeping, as well as of suffering and dying; and He had a real body, not a fictitious one, as the Docetae taught. Christ had a human soul, and so a human intellect, and a human will (for He prayed in the garden: "Father, not My will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42). At His death Christ gave His soul into the hands of His heavenly Father (Luke 23:46). St. Paul (1 Cor. 15:47) calls Christ the "heavenly" man, in opposition to the "earthly" man, Adam; his meaning being that Christ's body was heavenly in the sense that it was formed supernaturally in the womb of a virgin by the action of the Holy Spirit and that it displayed on earth some of the properties of glorified bodies, as on Mount Thabor and the walking on the waters.

2. In Christ there are two natures, human and Divine, which despite their intimate union are quite distinct.

The nature or essence is the total of the powers belonging to a being.. The person is the possessor of this nature; or perhaps more strictly, that which is common to all men is the nature and that which constitutes man an independent individual is the person. Thus the nature may embrace many individuals, but not so the person. Just as iron and gold may be welded into one solid mass, and still remain with all their individual properties distinct, so are the two natures united in Christ. Nor is the human nature changed into the Divine nature, as the water was changed into wine at Cana; nor again is the human nature, as Eutyches thought, absorbed into the Godhead as a drop of honey might be lost in the expanse of the ocean; nor have the two natures combined to form a third, as hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water.

Hence Christ has a twofold knowledge, human and Divine.

As God He knew all things, even the thoughts of men; and He also knew all things as man on account of the hypostatic union; the reason why He denied all knowledge of the day and hour of the Last Judgment was because He was not intrusted with His knowledge to communicate it to man (Mark 13:32).

Hence also Christ has a twofold will, human and Divine, the human being subject to the Divine (Third Council Constant.).

We learn from the prayer in the garden that Christ had a human will: "Not My will but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42), subject however to the Divine will: "I seek not My Own will but the will of Him that sent Me" (John 5:30). So a patient may shrink from the pain of an operation, and yet submit himself to the hands of the surgeon.

Thus Christ has a twofold activity, human and Divine (Third Council Constantinople, A.D. 680).

To His Divine activity belong the miracles and prophesies, to the human principle of action the operations of sleeping, eating, drinking and suffering. The three persons of the Blessed Trinity have only one nature and so one principle of action.

3. In Christ there is only one person, and that person is Divine.

AEnobius compares this with the two eyes forming only one image, or the two ears conveying one sound. In the words of the Athanasian Creed: "As the rational soul and the flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ." The human nature in Christ, though completed by a Divine and not a human personality, is for that very reason more perfect; just as in man the body is more perfect on account of being informed by a human soul, than in the lower animals. Moreover as in man the body is an instrument by which the soul acts, so in Christ the human nature is the instrument by which the Divine person acts; nor is Christ's body a lifeless tool, like a pen in the hand of a writer, but it is full of life and has its own special activity. The humanity of Christ is, it must be remembered, not an instrument of God's action in the same way as were the prophets or the Apostles, etc. Its union and action are far more intimate, just as the eye and the hand of the workman, are more concerned in his work than the tools. We must avoid the error of Nestorius, condemned at the Council of Ephesus, in which he taught that in Christ the Godhead dwelt in a distinct person (i.e., that the God Christ dwelt in the man Christ) as in a temple.

Since in Christ the Divine and human nature are inseparably united by His Divine personality, the following propositions are true:

1. Christ is, as man, the true Son of God.

St. Paul's words on the subject are: "He spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Rom. 8:32).

2. Mary, the Mother of Christ, is really Mother of God.

St. Elizabeth called her the Mother of God (Luke 1:43). Nestorius' heresy that Mary should be called only the Mother of Christ, was condemned at the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431. "If," as St. Cyril says, "Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how can it be that the holy Virgin who bore Him is not Mother of God?" Though the mother does not give the soul to her offspring, she is none the less called the mother; so Mary is called the Mother of God, though she did not give to Christ His Divine nature.

3. Christ, as man, could neither sin nor err.

Christ did no sin either in word or in deed (1 Pet. 2:22); or, in the words of St. Gregory the Great: "As light permits no darkness in its neighborhood, so the Son of God admitted no sin in His human nature." Christ had from His birth all wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3). The words "Christ grew in wisdom and grace" (Luke 2:52), mean that with the passage of time He ever showed more of the wisdom and grace of God in His speech and conduct. There must have been in His person something majestic (Ps. 44:3); St. Jerome says that the glory and majesty of the Godhead was reflected on His face, and gave it a beauty which attracted and subjected all those who had the happiness of gazing upon Him.

4. All Christ's human actions have an infinite value.

What Christ did as man was a human action, and also a Divine action, inasmuch as He was God. St. John Damascene says: "Just as iron raised to a glow burns not because burning is a property of the iron itself, but because it has acquired the property from the fire, so the human actions of Christ were Divine, not of their own nature, but on account of the intimate union with the Godhead." The very least prayer or suffering of Christ might thus have redeemed all men.

5. Christ's humanity is worthy of adoration.

This adoration is directed, not to the human nature, but to the Divine person. Thus a child kissing the hand of its parent is paying homage to the parent, not to the hand. As St. Thomas says: "We pay honor to the king and the purple which he wears; so in Christ we adore the humanity along with the Godhead, since they are inseparable." St. John Damascene points out that we do not adore mere flesh, but the flesh as united to the divinity. Thus the Church adores the Five Wounds, the Sacred Heart, the Precious Blood, etc.

6. Human attributes may be predicated of Christ as God, and Divine attributes of Christ as man (the so-called communication of characters or idioms).

Hence St. Peter's reproach: "The Author of life you have killed" (Acts 3:15), and St. Paul's words: "If they had known it they would never have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor. 2:8), as well as St. John's " Therein do we know the love of God, that He laid down His life for us." Since the second Divine person and the man Christ Jesus are one and the same person, whatever is said of Christ as God may also be said of Him as man (e.g., this man is omniscient or almighty), and what we say of Christ as man may be said of the second Divine person (e.g., God suffered for us, died for us, etc.). When a man is both good and rich, we may say without error: "This rich man is good," or "This good man is rich," because we are talking of the person who is rich and good. We may do the same in regard of the Divine person Who is at the same time God and man, and in consequence has the attributes proper to God and man. So we might say" This sufferer is God," "This dying man is almighty." But we cannot say "The Godhead suffered or died," because the word " Godhead" means the Divine nature, and it never suffered. Hence St. John Damascene wrote: "Though the Godhead was in a suffering form, the Godhead did not suffer. The sun is not hurt, though the tree on which it shines is felled."

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Christ called Himself the Only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), and this because He and He alone is the Second Person of the Trinity, begotten of the Father. In addition He is far removed above the Angels and mankind, who are likewise called the children of God. For to these latter God has not communicated His Own nature (Phil 2:6) and has adopted them only by a special grace (Gal. 4:5).

1. Jesus Christ solemnly declared before the high priest that He was the Son of God (Matt. 26:64).

And He called Himself the Son of God also on the occasion of His healing of the man born blind (John 9:37).

2. God the Father called Jesus Christ His Son on the occasion of His Baptism in the Jordan and of the transfiguration on Mount Thabor (Matt. 3:17; 17:5).

3. The Archangel Gabriel called Jesus Christ the "Son of the Most High" when he announced His birth to Mary (Luke 1;32).

4. St. Peter also publicly addressed Jesus Christ as "Son of the living God," and was commended by Christ for this confession (Matt. 16:16).

5. Even the devils cried out: "What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Matt. 8:29.)

Jesus Christ is God Himself.

It had already been foretold: "God Himself will come and will save you" (Is. 35:4), and Isaias said that the Child Who was to be born for the redemption of men was God Himself (Is. 9:6). The heretic Arius denied Christ's Godhead; his heresy was condemned at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, and it was expressly defined that Jesus Christ was of the same nature as God and therefore Himself God. Our whole position rests on this doctrine, hence its great importance. When the rich disciple addressed Christ as "good master," Our Lord answered at once, "Why dost thou call Me good? None is good but God alone " (Luke 18:19); He would thereby teach us that we must before all things recognize Him as God.

1. That Jesus Christ is God we learn from His Own word, and from those of His Apostles.

When ascending into Heaven He said: "All power is given to Me in Heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18); and again: "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). These last words were treated by the Jews as blasphemy, and they threatened to stone Our Lord for them (John 20:33). Christ claimed in a special manner attributes and works such as belong to God alone. He proclaimed His eternity when He said: "Glorify Thou Me, O Father, with Thyself with the glory which I had before the world was, with Thee" (John 17:5). And again: "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). He claimed the power of forgiving sins as in the case of Magdalen (Luke 7:48), and the man sick of the palsy (Matt. 9:2). He laid claim to awaken the dead (John 5:28), to judge the world (Matt. 25:31), to be the Author of life (John 11:25). On another occasion He said: "If any man keep My word, he shall not see death forever" (John 8:51). The Apostles believed and solemnly proclaimed that Christ was God, St. Thomas for instance, in the words: "My Lord and my God." In St. Paul's epistles we read: "In Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead corporally" (Col 2:9), and "In Him were created all things ... and He is before all, and by Him all things consist" (Col 1:16, 17).

2. That Jesus Christ is God we conclude from His miracles and prophecies.

The numerous miracles which Christ wrought in His Own name testify to His almighty power.

The miracles may be divided into five classes. (1). Those performed on inanimate substances, such as the changing of the water, into wine, the calming of the storm, etc. (2). The healing of the sick, the blind, and the lame (Matt. 11:3-5). (3). The raising of the dead to life, for example, in the case of the daughter of Jairus, of the son of the widow of Naim, of Lazarus. (4). The expelling of devils from possessed persons. (5). The miracles on His Own person, as the Transfiguration and the Ascension. Moreover Christ proved that He had power over all creation as no other had. Others did miracles in the name of God, as, for example, when St. Peter and St. John cured the man at the gate of the Temple. Christ did not appeal in God's name. He said simply: "Young man, I say to thee, arise!" (Luke 7:14.) "I will. Be thou made clean" (Matt. 8:3); "Peace, be still." Benedict XIV is careful to tell us that if Christ prayed to the Father it was to dispel the notion that His miracles were from the devil. The miracles attributed to the founders of false religions are often very absurd and childish; that Buddha rode on a sunbeam, that Mohammed caused the moon to pass through his sleeve, that Apollonius of Tyana raised a storm in a barrel, etc. So different from the majesty displayed by Christ!
The prophecies of Christ with respect to His Own fate, the treachery of Judas, and the denial of St. Peter, the death of St. John and St. Peter, the destruction of Jerusalem, the fate of the Jews, and the career of the Church, all show His omniscience.

Christ foretold that He would be put to death in Jerusalem (Luke 13:32), that He would be scourged and crucified, and would rise again after three days (Matt. 20:17-19). At the Last Supper He foretold the treachery of Judas (John 13:26), and that Peter would deny Him thrice before the cock would crow (Matt. 26:34). After His resurrection He prophesied to Peter his death on the Cross, and to John that he should die a natural death (John 21:18-22). After His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:41, 44), and during His discourse on the Last Judgment on the :Mount of Olives (Matt. 24) He foretold how Jerusalem should be surrounded by her enemies and destroyed. He also knew that the Jews should be scattered among the nations (Luke 21:24), that His Church should spread rapidly among the nations of the earth (John 10:16; Matt. 13:31) in spite of the persecution of His Apostles (John 16:2).

3. That 'Jesus Christ is God we conclude from the elevation of His teaching and His character.

The teaching of Christ surpasses that of the wisest who have ever lived on earth, and is far removed from the teaching of all other religions.

Christ's doctrine answers all the needs of the human heart, and is adapted to all, whatever be their station, age, sex, or nation; the greatest philosophers, even men like St. Augustine, found in it the peace they longed for. Christ's doctrine is a perfect revelation of the highest end of man and of the creation, besides inculcating the loftiest virtues: such as love of one's neighbor, humility, gentleness, patience, love of one's enemies, poverty, which up to the time of Christ had been quite unknown. Kant confesses that reason would not, even at the present day, have discovered the universal moral law unless Christianity had taught it. Christ's teaching, besides being lofty, was so simple, and announced with such clearness, that the people marvelled to hear Him (Matt. 7:28). Even Strauss does not hesitate to declare that to surpass the teaching of Jesus is an impossible task for all time. There is absolutely nothing in the Christian religion that is opposed to sound reason, or can lower the true dignity of man. Of how many of the other forms of religion can that be said? Mohammedanism teaches fatalism and is propagated by the sword. Even the Talmud contains a large mixture of very imperfect doctrine.

Christ Was free from all sin, and was so conspicuous for virtue that for all time He must remain the model for all men.

The traitor Judas confessed that he had shed "innocent blood" (Matt. 37:4); Pilate could find no cause in Christ (John 18:38); Christ Himself challenged the Jews: "Which of you shall convince Me of sin?" and none of them dared reply (John 8:46). He was quite free from all prejudices and narrow-mindedness, which are the result of surroundings and nationality. We see this in His relations to the Samaritans and Romans, more especially in the beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan (Matt. 10:30-37). The following virtues were most conspicuous: His love of His neighbor: "He went about doing good" (Acts 10:38) and laid down His life for others; His humility, which was seen in His associating with the most despised among the people; His gentleness in His forbearance with His enemies and even with the disciple who betrayed Him; His patience in suffering the greatest tortures; His clemency in His conduct towards sinners; His love of His enemies in His praying for them on the Cross; His love of prayer in spending whole nights praying to the Father. His whole character is one of the wonders of history. His greatest enemies even felt awe in His presence; no one, for instance, dared resist Him when He drove the buyers and sellers out of the Temple (Matt. 21:12). When the Pharisees wished to stone Him for claiming to be God, He went through their midst and they made, way for Him (John 10:39). The soldiers in the garden fell to the ground at a word from His lips (John 18:6).

 4. That Jesus Christ is God we conclude from the rapid spread of His teaching and from the miracles which accompanied this teaching throughout the world.

His teaching was propagated in spite of the greatest obstacles, and by the simplest of means.

The obstacles among the heathen were: The laws condemning to death or banishment those who professed a new religion. Calumnies the grossest were uttered against the Christians, accusing them of being godless, of cannibalism, attributing to them various misfortunes such as wars, pestilence, and famine. All this led to a persecution extending over some three hundred years; up to the edict of Constantine the Great there are reckoned about ten persecutions. The doctrines of the Christians afforded another series of obstacles; the reverence paid to One Who had suffered the death of the Cross was accounted a folly, added to which this doctrine was introduced by Jews, a sect held in the lowest esteem by the Romans. No less repulsive to the sensual and pleasure-loving heathen were the restraint and self-denial inculcated by the Christian religion. The means employed for converting the world were twelve poor fishermen, unequipped with eloquence to persuade, or with the countenance of the great ones of the earth to support their mission. They did indeed work miracles, but, as St. Augustine says, the spread of Christianity without miracles would have been the greatest miracle of any. On Pentecost five thousand were Baptized; two thousand more after the miracle at the gate of the Temple, and in the year A.D. 100 Christianity had extended over the whole Roman world. Pliny, the Governor of Bithynia, reported to the Emperor Trajan that the heathen temples were left empty because all were becoming Christians in the towns and villages. St. Justinus, the philosopher, wrote in A.D. 150: " There is not a nation where prayers are not offered to the heavenly Father in the name of the Crucified."

The effect of Christ's teaching was that idolatry with its horrible abuses disappeared, and that the whole life of man was reformed and ennobled.

The sacrifice of human victims was abolished, and the bloody spectacles of the gladiatorial shows. All kinds of charitable institutions arose for the blind, the poor, the sick, etc., owing their existence to the teaching of Christian mercy. Polygamy died out, and woman regained her dignity. Order was established in the family life by the Christian doctrine of the indissolubility of the marriage tie. Slavery was gradually abolished, for every man saw in his neighbor the image of God. The cruel laws against malefactors became milder, and wars became less frequent. Trade, science, and art were cultivated more, and labor acquired a new dignity. Even Julian the Apostate counselled the heathen to imitate the Christians in the generosity and purity of their lives. A religion which produces so much good must be from God. It is sometimes urged that Christ's teaching has been the cause of many religious wars and schisms. The answer to this objection is that it is not Christ's teaching but man's perversity in not following that teaching, or wresting it to his own destruction, which causes so much evil.

Jesus Christ is Our Lord.

Christ's words at the Last Supper were: "You call Me Master and Lord, and you say well, for so I am" (John 13:13).

We call Christ "Our Lord" because He is our Creator, Redeemer, Lawgiver, Teacher, and Judge.

Christ is our Creator: "In Him were all things created in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible" (Col 1:16), and by His Son God made the world (Heb. 1:2). St. John calls Christ the Word, and says: "Without Him was made nothing that was made" (John 1:3). Christ is our Redeemer. By Him we are set free from the slavery of the devil (1 Pet. 1:18). Hence the Apostle says: "Know ye not that ... ye are not your own, for you are bought with a great price" (1 Cor. 6:19). He is also our Lawgiver, for He developed the teaching of the Ten Commandments, and gave the two precepts of love. He called Himself the "Lord of the Sabbath" (Luke 6:5). Christ is our Teacher, because He taught men to be like to God, and in John 18:13, He calls Himself our Master. Christ is also our Judge, for He will come again in glory to summon all mankind before His judgment-seat and separate the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:31, 32). Then will the just as well as the wicked address Him, saying: "Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison?" (Matt. 25:37, 44.) "He is the blessed and only mighty, the King of kings and Lord of lords ... to Whom be honor and empire everlasting. Amen" (1 Tim. 6:5, 16).