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Chapter 5: Jesus Christ Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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Chapter 5: Jesus Christ Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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  1. Chapter 5: Jesus Christ Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary INTRODUCTION TO CATHOLICISM

  2. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) ANTICIPATORY SET Incorporate St. Elizabeth’s and the Blessed Virgin Mary’s words at the Visitation (cf. Lk1:39-56) into the Opening Prayer.

  3. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) BASIC QUESTIONS Why do Christians honor the Blessed Virgin Mary? How was Christ foretold in the Old Testament? What do the Annunciation and Visitation reveal about the Blessed Virgin Mary? KEY IDEAS Christians imitate Christ by giving the highest honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ were foretold in the wisdom and prophetic literature of the Old Testament. The Annunciation and Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Incarnation, Nativity, and Passion of Christ reveal the reality of Mary as the Mother of God and the New Eve.

  4. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share using the following question: According to the Catechism, no. 487, why is Mariology necessarily Christocentric?

  5. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS According to Leo Trese, why does love for Christ necessarily lead to love for his Mother? If a person loves someone, he or she naturally loves what the other person loves. Christ loves his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary; therefore, anyone who loves Christ will also love her. According to Leo Trese, beyond what “ordinary” loves does Christ’s love for his Mother go? His love goes beyond the impartial love of God for every human soul and the special love of God for holy souls. What is the basis of Christ’s love for his Mother? Because of Christ’s genuine humanity, he loves his Mother with the perfect human love that only the perfect Son could have for the perfect Mother.

  6. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner, and assign each pair one of the prophecies in the section “The Redemption Foretold” (p. 107). Look up the prophecy in the Bible, identify its context in the Old Testament, and find where and how that prophecy is fulfilled in the New Testament.

  7. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS How can it be said that Christ is foretold in the Old Testament by covenant? The covenants of the Old Testament hint that there will be an ultimate establishment of a holy and priestly nation led by a descendant of Eve through Abraham. How can it be said that Christ is foretold in the Old Testament by type? The Old Testament contains many persons and events that prefigure the Person of Jesus Christ and the events of his earthly ministry.

  8. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS How can it be said that Christ is foretold in the Old Testament by prophecy? The wisdom and prophetic literature contain many specific prophecies that were fulfilled in the life of Christ. At the time of Christ, what kind of messiah did many Jews expect? Some expected a temporal king; others a mighty military leader who would overthrow the Roman occupiers of Judea; and still others a charismatic spiritual leader, rabbi, or prophet. In all likelihood, what did nobody expect about the messiah? It is likely nobody expected the messiah would be born in abject poverty; preach a Gospel of Love, forgiveness, and conversion; and be tortured and killed.

  9. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS How did the Blessed Virgin Mary fulfill the Protoevangelium? God promised Eve a descendant whose offspring would triumph over the serpent. God chose the Blessed Virgin Mary from all eternity to be the Mother of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who triumphed over the Devil. How is the Blessed Virgin Mary like Sarah in the Book of Genesis? In the lives of both Sarah and the Blessed Virgin Mary, God intervened to change history through the seemingly impossible conception of a child. In Sarah’s case, an old woman beyond childbearing years gave birth to a son, who became the Patriarch of the Chosen People. In the Blessed Virgin Mary’s case, a young woman who had pledged her virginity to God gave birth to God’s Son, who redeemed all people.

  10. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is notable about the Blessed Virgin Mary’s ancestry? She is a descendant of King David. According to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, why did God want his Son to be born of a woman? In this way, every human being could receive adoption as a child of God.

  11. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS What are the primary sources of our knowledge about the Blessed Virgin Mary? The Gospels of Sts. Matthew and Luke write most about her. What is the Annunciation? It is the meeting between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel in which he announced she would be the Mother of God.

  12. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS Was the Blessed Virgin Mary required to have complied with the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement? No; God has such respect for his gift of free will that he asked her consent to be the Mother of the Messiah. How is the Blessed Virgin Mary like Abraham? Abraham did not understand how God would fulfill his promise to be the father of countless descendants since he was an old man married to an old woman beyond childbearing years. The Blessed Virgin Mary did not understand how she could become the Mother of God since she had intended to remain a virgin. Like Abraham, the Blessed Virgin Mary was obedient to God and trusted him completely.

  13. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) GUIDED EXERCISE Free write for three minutes about any aspect of the words of St. Elizabeth and the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Visitation (cf. Lk 1:41-55; p. 110). It should be something that interested, surprised, confused, or was meaningful to you.

  14. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS How is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s consent related to Eve’s disobedience? Eve put her own desires over God’s will, whereas the Blessed Virgin Mary submitted to God’s will. Why is the Blessed Virgin Mary the New Eve? Just as the first woman, Eve, used her free will to bring about death for all people, so another woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary, used her free will to bring about life for all people.

  15. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the likely reason St. Joseph decided to divorce the Blessed Virgin Mary? He thought her pregnancy would be scandalous, and a quiet divorce would protect them both from scorn. What is the Visitation? The Blessed Virgin Mary, after the Annunciation, visited her cousin St. Elizabeth, who was carrying St. John the Baptist in her womb. What is the Nativity? It is the Birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Extension: This is the public revelation―to the shepherds and the Magi―of the Birth of Jesus Christ.

  16. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 1-4 (p. 123) Workbook Questions 1-8 Read “The Incarnation” through the sidebar “Do Catholics Believe in Dogmas That Are Not in the Bible?” (pp. 110-117)

  17. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) CLOSURE Write a paragraph explaining why the Blessed Virgin Mary deserves honor from Christians.

  18. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110) ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Work with a partner to complete the following table about how Christ is present in the Old Testament.

  19. 1. The Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 106-110)

  20. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) ANTICIPATORY SET For the Opening Prayer, read aloud The Presentation in the Temple(cf. Lk2:22–40), and then pray this decade of the Rosary together.

  21. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) BASIC QUESTIONS What is the Incarnation? Do Christians worship the Blessed Virgin Mary? What attributes and titles does the Blessed Virgin Mary have? KEY IDEAS Jesus Christ is one divine Person with a complete divine nature and, in his Incarnation, a complete human nature, making him true God and true man. The Church honors the Blessed Virgin Mary with hyperdulia. The Blessed Virgin Mary possesses the attributes and titles of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of God, true Spouse of St. Joseph, Ever Virgin, model disciple, Mother of the Church, assumed into Heaven, and Intercessor and Mediator.

  22. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the Incarnation? The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and took on human nature. How does the work of God in the Old Testament relate to the work of Christ in the New? Christ completed his Father’s plan of salvation, which is recounted and taught in the New Testament, that unfolded throughout the Old Testament.

  23. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share using the following prompt: Some people hold that Christ discovered his identity as the Messiah gradually, achieving this self-understanding at his Baptism in the Jordan and realizing his divinity only upon his Resurrection. Based on what you know about the Incarnation and the hypostatic union, how would you refute this heresy?

  24. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS In a sense, when did the Blessed Virgin Mary experience the birth pangs of being the Mother of Christ? She experienced them in the deep, spiritual agony of seeing her Son dying on the Cross. Extension: She was preserved from any stain of Original Sin, so she did not experience the consequences of the Fall, including pain in childbirth. With respect to the Blessed Virgin Mary, what prophecy was fulfilled at the Crucifixion? When Christ was presented in the Temple as an infant, St. Simeon foretold, “A sword will pierce through your [the Blessed Virgin Mary] soul also” (Lk 2:35).

  25. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS How does the Church interpret Christ’s words, “Behold, your mother”? In addition to directing St. John the beloved disciple to take care of the physical needs of his Mother, Christ gave her as a Mother to all the faithful. Why did Christ hail his mother as “woman”? This harkens back to the first woman, Eve. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the New Eve, the Mother of all who have received new life in Christ.

  26. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS What recognition do Christians give to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints, and God? They give honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, but they give worship only to God. How does honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints show honor to God? God’s grace made the holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints possible. What Greek terms distinguish the ways the Church honors the saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and God? Dulia is the reverence and veneration given to saints; hyperdulia is the higher level of veneration accorded to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The term for worship or adoration, which is due God alone, is latria. Extension: Hyperdulia means “super honor.”

  27. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117)  FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the hypostatic union? The two natures of Christ—divine and human—coexist in his one divine Person. Extension: The term “unconfused union,” which is sometimes used to describe the hypostatic union, refers to each nature retaining all its features without being diluted or somehow mixed with the other. What does it mean to say Jesus Christ is consubstantial with the Father? God the Son is of the exact same nature—the divine nature—as God the Father. How many persons is Christ? He is one divine Person. Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

  28. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS How many intellects and how many wills does Christ have? He has two of each: a divine intellect and a human intellect and a divine will and a human will. Extension: This was solemnly defined at the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon AD 451. Recent dialogues with the Oriental Orthodox Churches, who separated from the universal Church in the wake of this council, have shown their formulations of Christ having two natures that are united without separation, confusion, or alteration so as to be “one nature” ―while still different than the proper understanding―can be understood to be consistent with the “two natures” definition of Chalcedon. How did Christ’s human intellect and will relate to his divine intellect and will? He submitted completely his human intellect and will to his divine intellect and will.

  29. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception? The Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of Original Sin because of a special grace from God. To whose conception does the Immaculate Conception refer? It refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s conception in the womb of her mother, St. Ann. Extension: It does not refer to Christ’s conception in his Mother’s womb; this is usually called the Incarnation and Virgin Birth. When was the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception formally defined? Pope Bl. Pius IX solemnly defined it in 1854.

  30. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS Could the Blessed Virgin Mary sin? Yes; she was a human person who had free will and, thus, could choose to sin. Did the Blessed Virgin Mary ever sin? No; she resisted every temptation to sin throughout her life. How old is the doctrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God? It goes back to St. Elizabeth’s greeting of the Blessed Virgin Mary as “the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43). Extension: Eastern Christians from the beginning have called her by the title Theotokos, “Bearer of God,” which was affirmed at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus AD 431.

  31. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS How did Nestorians understand the title Mother of God? Nestorius taught Christ is the union of a divine Person and a human person. Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary could not be the Mother of God because she did not give birth to the divine Person of Jesus; she might, at most, be called Mother of Christ because she gave birth to the human person of Jesus. Why did the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus affirm the title Theotokos? The Council Fathers wished to affirm that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God against the Nestorian heresy.

  32. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS What role did angels play in St. Joseph’s life? An angel urged him to wed the Blessed Virgin Mary, to flee to Egypt with the Christ child and his Mother, and to return when it was safe. Why is it assumed that St. Joseph died before Christ’s public ministry began? Unlike the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph is not mentioned in the Gospels after the Finding in the Temple.

  33. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS What relationship did St. Joseph have with respect to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary? God the Holy Spirit chose St. Joseph to be the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the foster-father of Christ, and the guardian of the Holy Family. Extension: Since she had promised her virginity to God, St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary, though married, did not consummate their marriage. This is depicted in Eastern iconography by physical separation: St. Joseph is not depicted touching the Blessed Virgin Mary or Christ. What was notable about St. Joseph’s ancestry? Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph was a descendant of King David.

  34. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner to compose and answer three Focus Questions about the sidebar “St. Joseph, Mary’s Faithful Spouse” (p. 115).

  35. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary? She remained a virgin her whole life: before, during, and after the Birth of Christ. How can the Blessed Virgin Mary be a lifelong virgin if Christ had brothers and sisters? In Greek and Aramaic usage, the words translated as “brother” and “sister” were more fungible than in modern English; relatives, including cousins, and very close friends were referred to as brothers and sisters. How old is the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity? It goes to the earliest days of the Church; it is constant throughout her history.

  36. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is the Blessed Virgin Mary the model of a faithful disciple? She sought always to do the will of God with a simple, obedient trust. Did the Blessed Virgin Mary have an easy life? No; she faced many difficulties, including rash judgment, people seeking to kill her Son, and watching him die on the Cross.

  37. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS When and by whom was the Blessed Virgin Mary declared to be Mother of the Church? This was declared in 1965 by Pope Paul VI. In what sense is the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of the Church? Through her “yes” and complete cooperation with God’s Word, Christ became incarnate and the Church came into being.

  38. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) GUIDED EXERCISE Focused reading of the paragraph beginning “The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Perpetual Virginity…” (p. 116) using the following question: What does the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary reveal about the value of consecrated virginity?

  39. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the dogma of the Assumption? After the course of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s earthly life, Christ brought her body and soul into his presence in Heaven. How old is the dogma of the Assumption? The Assumption has been believed since the time of the Apostles and was solemnly defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Extension: Dormition, a term used by Eastern Christians, refers to her “falling asleep.”

  40. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS How is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection? Like her Son, she is in Heaven, both body and soul together. Why is the Blessed Virgin Mary able to mediate for people before God? She shares in Christ’s one mediation with the Father by interceding with her Son for her spiritual children.

  41. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS Out of which of the two sources of the Deposit of Faith do the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption flow? They flow out of Sacred Tradition rather than Sacred Scripture. How long has the Church believed in the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption? They have been believed since the Apostolic era. How does the Archangel Gabriel’s greeting to the Blessed Virgin Mary imply she was immaculately conceived? He greeted her as “full of grace.”

  42. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is it reasonable to believe the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from any stain of Original Sin? This is the kind of gift God the Father would give to the one who would bear his coeternal and Only-Begotten Son. How is belief in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary related to the Immaculate Conception? Since she was preserved from any stain of Original Sin and never committed an actual sin, she was not subject to death, which is a consequence of the Fall.

  43. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 5-12 (p. 123) Practical Exercises 1-2 (p. 124) Workbook Questions 9-24 Read “Christ’s Hidden Years” through “Conclusion” (pp. 118-120)

  44. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) CLOSURE Write a paragraph explaining the Incarnation. He or she should mention the Person and natures of Christ.

  45. 2. Attributes and Titles of Mary (pp. 110-117) ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Write a one-sentence explanation of each of the eight attributes and titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary (pp. 113-114, 116-117).

  46. 3. Christ’s Hidden Years (pp. 118-120) ANTICIPATORY SET For the Opening Prayer, read aloud The Finding in the Temple (cf. Lk 2:41-52), and then pray this decade of the Rosary together.

  47. 3. Christ’s Hidden Years (pp. 118-120) BASIC QUESTION What are Christ’s hidden years? KEY IDEA Christ’s hidden years were those between about age twelve, when he was found in the Temple, and age thirty, when he began his public ministry; years during which Christ lived an ordinary and obscure life characterized by humility, industriousness, and obedience.

  48. 3. Christ’s Hidden Years (pp. 118-120) GUIDED EXERCISE Conduct a focused reading of the paragraphs beginning “By living in obscurity…” and the Catechism, no. 532 (p. 119), using the following question: What is the significance of obedience in Christ’s hidden life?

  49. 3. Christ’s Hidden Years (pp. 118-120) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is revealed about Christ’s hidden life in Scripture? Christ lived in Nazareth, “was subject to [his parents],” and “advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men” (Lk 2:51-52). What trade did Christ learn and practice? He was a carpenter. What virtues did Christ display in his hidden life? He was humble, industrious, and obedient.

  50. 3. Christ’s Hidden Years (pp. 118-120) GUIDED EXERCISE Free write for three minutes about how you live the virtues of humility, industriousness, and obedience. This will not be handed in or seen by anyone else. For two more minutes, free write about how you could practice better each virtue.