FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Why did Jesus have to become human?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4
This is the topic of my priest's Christmas sermon. He said this is one of the greatest theological questions and the best explanation he ever heard was in the form of a parable and was really simple. This Father said is of course the way Our Lord taught the Apostles and of course us. So here goes. Obviously I am doing this off from memory but I think I can get Fathers story pretty accurate.

About 100 years ago a family was getting ready for midnight Mass. The mother was getting her children ready to go for Mass and she went in to see her husband. She asked her husband if she was going to Mass this year. He said "No. That's a nice story but there is no way any of that stuff about God becoming man could be true." So his wife said OK and made an excuse for her husband for the kids and they went off to Mass.

While they were gone the husband did some chores around the house to keep himself busy while the rest of the family was at Church. He happened to look out the window and it was starting to snow. Then the snow got heavier and the wind started to blow really hard. Then he saw out in the barnyard a large flock of birds that landed in the barnyard. These birds were huddled together and were shivering. The guy went out to see if he could get them to take off and move to their nest. So as soon as he waved his hands to get them to move they just went up and came back down. So then he thought that he should open the barn door so they could get shelter from the barn. So he did this and he tried to coax the birds into the barn. They wouldn't go in. He figured maybe if he went back in the house they would move there on their own.

So, he went back into the house and watched out the window and they didn't move at all. So he got some of his chicken feed and figured he would put some out for the birds and lead them into the barn. When he put out the seeds they started eating the seeds around them and he spread the seeds towards the barn. But the birds didn't move towards the barn. He figured once the birds finished the food around them then they would start moving towards the barn. But once they finished all the seed around them the birds just huddled back together and started shivering again. He said to himself, "I tried everything to save you birds, what do I have to do? Become one of you?!" As soon as he said that he realized what he said and the Church bells started ringing and he got on his knees and thanked God and the birds flew off.

very cool, thanks for sharing
(12-29-2010, 07:45 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]This is the topic of my priest's Christmas sermon. He said this is one of the greatest theological questions and the best explanation he ever heard was in the form of a parable and was really simple. This Father said is of course the way Our Lord taught the Apostles and of course us. So here goes. Obviously I am doing this off from memory but I think I can get Fathers story pretty accurate.

About 100 years ago a family was getting ready for midnight Mass. The mother was getting her children ready to go for Mass and she went in to see her husband. She asked her husband if she was going to Mass this year. He said "No. That's a nice story but there is no way any of that stuff about God becoming man could be true." So his wife said OK and made an excuse for her husband for the kids and they went off to Mass.

While they were gone the husband did some chores around the house to keep himself busy while the rest of the family was at Church. He happened to look out the window and it was starting to snow. Then the snow got heavier and the wind started to blow really hard. Then he saw out in the barnyard a large flock of birds that landed in the barnyard. These birds were huddled together and were shivering. The guy went out to see if he could get them to take off and move to their nest. So as soon as he waved his hands to get them to move they just went up and came back down. So then he thought that he should open the barn door so they could get shelter from the barn. So he did this and he tried to coax the birds into the barn. They wouldn't go in. He figured maybe if he went back in the house they would move there on their own.

So, he went back into the house and watched out the window and they didn't move at all. So he got some of his chicken feed and figured he would put some out for the birds and lead them into the barn. When he put out the seeds they started eating the seeds around them and he spread the seeds towards the barn. But the birds didn't move towards the barn. He figured once the birds finished the food around them then they would start moving towards the barn. But once they finished all the seed around them the birds just huddled back together and started shivering again. He said to himself, "I tried everything to save you birds, what do I have to do? Become one of you?!" As soon as he said that he realized what he said and the Church bells started ringing and he got on his knees and thanked God and the birds flew off.

Years ago, I told this story to a very modernist priest and he said, "No! That's not why Jesus was incarnated. That's a completely Protestant understanding of the Incarnation. The idea that Jesus is there as the teacher."   Now, his view was the Rahner view of God's total love for the people despite the ultimate rejection of God by Man putting God to death on the Cross, with the Resurrection being the overwhelming of that evil act by the continual love of God. 

It's funny how Modernists are not Protestants. There is an intellectual elitism in Modernists that makes them condescend towards Protestants. 

But they are both wrong in their emphasis and in  what they ignore. 

The real answer is: 

Finite Man through the sin of Adam had offended an Infinite God.  The level of the offense is infinite.  Mankind is therefore incapable of making a reparation of that wounded relationship/ injustice.   

So, due to God's infinite Mercy  the infinite God must unite Himself to mankind  to take a share in our humanity in order to offer that infinite sacrifice to restore Justice and make it possible for God to share His Divinity with us.

God must  have Justice for Man to be with Him again or He's not God.  So, He as Jesus Our Lord pays the price of that Justice to Himself with Himself. 

Jesus became Man to free us from sin, not to teach us how to free ourselves from sin because we are not smart enough to know how to do it.    We can't do it at all.  Only by living and doing what He requires of us in His name and for His sake (namely the commandments, the sacraments, the precepts of the Church) done in His name can have any merit. 
I always thought that the answer to this question was that, that God did not have to do anything. I am no just talking about the incarnation but also the salvation of man kind as well. Yet God through his infinite mercy and love for humanity thought it proper to do so.
It must be remembered as well that it was the divine decree from all eternity that the Second Person of the Trinity was to become man whether the Fall had occurred or not.
This was the way in which our human nature was to fully partake of His Divine Nature (O admirabile commercium!): through the primary efficacy of grace (as infused into the soul as the principle agency of this adoption), but incorporating the whole of personal human existence as well, which is both soul AND body at the same time.
This great condescension on the part of Almighty God, forseen from all eternity, is also the means by which He Himself merited the salvation of the angels as well (for while not needing redemption, the angels still needed to be saved - by grace, that is, which was merited for them.)
The incarnation is also the secondary manner in which we have been made "in the image" of God: that is, God as possessing a true human nature like ours.
In other words, the Incarnation was not merely a gracious repair or 'remedy' alone. God ALWAYS intended to become one of us, even if Adam had never fallen.
The wonder of it, is that Our Lord took on our nature EVEN AFTER the Fall, and thus fully participated in the all the suffering that that was to entail; and indeed, elevating us higher because we had sunk so low.
O felix culpa!
He had to become human to make up for the sin of ADAM. A human sinned against God so a human must sacrifice to God to repair the sin, of course this is Almighty God Adam sinned against so only a divine human could make up for that sin, a human alone couldn't because no human is Gods equal.
I'm just thankful that He did.  :pray:
(01-03-2011, 05:18 PM)Lee Wrote: [ -> ]It must be remembered as well that it was the divine decree from all eternity that the Second Person of the Trinity was to become man whether the Fall had occurred or not.

Only according to Scotus. Anselm and Aquinas disagree.
I have problems with this story.  Gerard's explanation is a better way of approaching the subject.
There is certainly room for varying propositions concerning the matter above; and I am, of course, in no way insisting upon this as a doctrine (which it most certainly is not), nor as even coming entirely within the realm of dogma (as those teachings which have long been 'commonly held' by the theologians, merely not yet defined 'de fide').
I would say that it is a little narrow, however, to assert that "only" Scotus prompted this theological principle. For I first learned of this concept in Abbot Marmion (who was no Karl Rahner, to be sure), and found it later to have been confirmed and continued by Garrigou-Lagrange - himself a most devoted Thomist, and certainly to be considered one of the most able theologians of our time.

In point of fact, I don't quite fully assent to the idea myself. But I do appreciate its value as far as the deep spiritual insight it affords, and am happy to be able in good conscience to hold its bearing in the realm of realistic possibility.
Pages: 1 2 3 4