OC 03/24 Episode 083 Catechism 0606-0611

Catechism 0606-0611

For our sake God made him to be sin”

602 Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers… with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.” [402] Man’s sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death. [403] By sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” [404]

603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned. [405] But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [406] Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the death of his Son”. [407]

God takes the initiative of universal redeeming love

604 By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” [408] God “shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” [409]

605 At the end of the parable of the lost sheep Jesus recalled that God’s love excludes no one: “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” [410] He affirms that he came “to give his life as a ransom for many”; this last term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us. [411] The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: “There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.” [412]

III. CHRIST OFFERED HIMSELF TO HIS FATHER FOR OUR SINS

Christ’s whole life is an offering to the Father

606 The Son of God, who came down “from heaven, not to do (his) own will, but the will of him who sent (him)”, [413] said on coming into the world, “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.” “and by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” [414] From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father’s plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.” [415] The sacrifice of Jesus “for the sins of the whole world” [416] expresses his loving communion with the Father. “The Father loves me, because I lay down my life”, said the Lord, “(for) I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” [417]

607 The desire to embrace his Father’s plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus’ whole life, [418] for his redemptive passion was the very reason for his Incarnation. and so he asked, “and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.” [419] and again, “Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?” [420] From the cross, just before “It is finished”, he said, “I thirst.” [421]

“The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world”

608 After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. [422] By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover. [423] Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [424]

Jesus freely embraced the Father’s redeeming love

609 By embracing in his human heart the Father’s love for men, Jesus “loved them to the end”, for “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” [425] In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men. [426] Indeed, out of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save, Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” [427] Hence the sovereign freedom of God’s Son as he went out to his death. [428]

At the Last Supper Jesus anticipated the free offering of his life

610 Jesus gave the supreme expression of his free offering of himself at the meal shared with the twelve Apostles “on the night he was betrayed”. [429] On the eve of his Passion, while still free, Jesus transformed this Last Supper with the apostles into the memorial of his voluntary offering to the Father for the salvation of men: “This is my body which is given for you.” “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” [430]

611 The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of his sacrifice. [431] Jesus includes the apostles in his own offering and bids them perpetuate it. [432] By doing so, the Lord institutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: “For their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.” [433]

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