Choose a topic from Part 3a:

31. Our Lord's Body

1. Our Lord came in human nature to cleanse that naturefrom sin. Now, the stain of sin came to human nature from Adam.Hence, the Savior assumed flesh that derived from Adam. Christ asman was a true member of Adam's race.

2. Christ's flesh was "of the seed ofDavid." In human terms, our Lord was called the son ofAbraham, and the son of David. To Abraham and to David, more thanto other partriarchs, promises of the Redeemer were made, and thepromises called him the seed of Abraham, and also the seed ofDavid.

3. The genealogy of our Lord is given in two of theGospels. St. Matthew begins with Abraham, and traces the line toJoseph. St. Luke starts with our Lord, and works back. There arepoints in both lists that scholars discuss with some disagreement.Yet the genealogy as it stands is suitable for its purpose. Thefact that St. Matthew follows the male line from Abraham to Joseph,who was not the father of our Lord, merely indicates the invariableJewish custom of following the male line; yet the genealogy issufficient, for Mary, like Joseph, was "of the house andfamily of David"; this is the important thing, and fullyindicates the fulfillment of the prophecies that the Redeemer wasto be of David's seed.

4. It was suitable that the Son of God should take fleshfrom a woman. He came to redeem all, and, as he himself was a man,it was right that the female sex should have a place in the work ofIncarnation. Hence, the Redeemer was rightly born of a humanmother.

5. In the begetting of Christ, the active principle ofgeneration was the power of God, a supernatural power. The matterfrom which the body of Christ was conceived was the blood of themother. Thus the conception of our Lord's body was supernaturalin the fact that God directly produced it in Mary; it wassupernatural also in the fact that it took place in a virgin; butit was natural in the fact that the Child was present in Mary'swomb.

6. Through the medium of Mary's body, the body ofChrist is related to Adam and to the patriarchs of his line.Christ's body was in the patriarchs in the way in whichMary's body was in them, and in the way in which all theirdescendants were in them. Now, a descendant is not in his ancestoras a definite part of that ancestor's substance. He is in hisancestor as in his true origin, but he is not a section of theancestor's flesh or bone or blood or tissue.

7. Christ did not assume human flesh as subject tosin. He assumed human flesh cleansed from all infection ofsin. {-Here we discern a reason for the fact ofMary's Immaculate Conception, namely, that the immediate sourceof Christ's body should be virginal and immaculate.-}

8. St. Paul (Heb. 7:6-9) says that Levi, the yet unborngreat-grandson of Abraham, "paid tithes in Abraham" whenAbraham paid tithes to Melchisedech. From this, some have falselyconcluded that in Abraham our Lord paid tithes for the healing ofthe flesh from sin. But our Lord was not in his human ancestors insuch a way as to make him inheritor of Adam's sin. He was atrue child of Adam, but he was not descended by way ofconcupiscence and carnal or seminal power; he was conceived by theimmaculate virgin under the immediate action of God'ssupernatural power.

"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

* * *

"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."
R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

* * *

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

* * *