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Chapter 18: The Incarnation UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES.

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1 Chapter 18: The Incarnation UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES

2 ANTICIPATORY SET Review St. Matthew’s genealogy of Christ (1:1ff.) and identify any of his ancestors you recognize from the Old Testament. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

3 BASIC QUESTIONS  What is the Incarnation?  How is it known Christ is a descendant of David? KEY IDEAS  The divine Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, took on human nature; this is the doctrine of the Incarnation.  St. Matthew’s genealogy established Jesus Christ as a descendant of David. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

4 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why did God become incarnate according to the Catechism, no. 461? He assumed a human nature in order to accomplish the salvation of man. How does the Incarnation relate to ancient ideas about sacrifice according to the Catechism, no. 462? In ancient Israel, as well as in neighboring cultures, people made sacrifices and offerings to God or to the gods. Christ took the place of those sacrifices. What is the distinctive sign of the Christian Faith according to the Catechism, no. 463? It is belief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

5 FOCUS QUESTIONS What central teaching do the passages from Sts. John and Paul express? God became flesh, i.e., took on human nature. What does incarnation mean? It is from the Latin for come into flesh. How are events dated in Western cultures? Dates are given according to how long events occurred before or after the Birth of Christ. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

6 GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Conduct a think / pair / share to complete the following table by identifying the allegorical pairs created by Hans Holbein in “Allegory of the Old and New Testaments” (p. 321). 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

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8 GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Have each student work with a partner to complete the following table to discover parallels between Christ and Adam and Eve in the garden according to the Catechism, no. 461 (p. 321), which quotes Philippians 2: 5–8. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

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10 FOCUS QUESTIONS How does the Gospel of St. Matthew correspond to Genesis? In his genealogy of Christ, St. Matthew began with the same words Moses used for the genealogy of Adam in Genesis: “This is the book of the genealogy of...” What is the symbolism of the three groups of fourteen people in St. Matthew’s genealogy of Christ? Three is a symbolically perfect number, so a group of three would be a symbolically perfect group. Seven being another symbolically perfect number, two times seven is doubly perfect. What is the numerical symbolism of David’s name? The letters in David’s name add up to fourteen, the grouping St. Matthew adopted for Christ’s genealogy. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

11 FOCUS QUESTIONS How did St. Matthew divide the history of Israel? St. Matthew divided it into three periods bound by three important events: the Abrahamic Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the Babylonian Exile. Why had the Babylonian Exile never really ended? Only a remnant of the Jews returned to the Promised Land, and there had never been another Davidic kingdom. When did the Babylonian Exile end? It ended with the advent of Christ, who drew all people together in the Kingdom of God. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

12 GUIDED EXERCISE A think / pair / share on the following question:  What might be some reasons St. Matthew’s genealogy shows Christ as both the Son of David and the Son of Abraham? 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

13 CLOSURE Free write for five minutes about the meaning of the Incarnation and speculate as to why God chose this surprising way to redeem the world. 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

14 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 1–6 (p. 337)  Practical Exercises 1–2 (p. 337)  Workbook Questions 1–10  Read Luke 1: 5—2: 20  Read “Hail Mary” through “The Journeys of Jesus: Nativity to Baptism” (pp. 324–329) 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

15 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Create a genealogical table of your own ancestors like that on page 323.  What conclusion can be drawn from the fact that few of us can go back beyond our grandparents when tracing our family tree?  Is appropriate to apply our reason to the Jews of Jesus’ time and before? 1. The Incarnate Son of David (pp. 320–324)

16 ANTICIPATORY SET Incorporate a decade of one of the first three Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in the class’s Opening Prayer, using the scriptural method of saying the Rosary. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

17 BASIC QUESTIONS  What is the Annunciation?  Why was the B. V. Mary able to say yes to God’s will?  How is the B. V. Mary the Ark of the New Covenant?  What were the circumstances of Christ’s Birth? KEY IDEAS  The Annunciation refers to the Archangel Gabriel announcing to the B. V. Mary she would be the Mother of “the Son of the Most High,” and would conceive him by the power of the Holy Spirit; this overshadowing was described using the language of God’s presence with the Ark of the Covenant.  Through the merits of her son, the B. V. Mary was full of grace; she was born without Original Sin and lived without personal sin.  The Visitation, the meeting between the B. V. Mary and her cousin St. Elizabeth, used language to suggest that she is the Ark of the New Covenant.  In accord with the Prophet Micah, Christ was born in Bethlehem, the City of David; he was born in poverty, in a stable, and laid in a manger as angels announced to shepherds he was “a Savior... Christ the Lord.” 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

18 GUIDED EXERCISE Analyze the illustration “The Immaculate Conception” (p. 325). Review the seed of the serpent in Genesis (p. 59). Then answer the following question:  How did Tiepolo depict the relationship between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the seed of the serpent from the Protoevangelium? 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

19 FOCUS QUESTIONS What did God promise to do for Christ according to Luke 1:32–33? He will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign forever. According to St. Luke, what will the power of the Most High do to the Blessed Virgin Mary? It will overshadow her. How is the B. V. Mary like the tabernacle that housed the Ark of the Covenant? When the Ark was put in the tabernacle, the Glory of the Lord overshadowed it. The Holy Spirit will likewise overshadow Mary, and she will conceive the Son of God. Why is the B. V. Mary’s response to the angel the model of faith for everyone? When she learned God’s will, she said, let it be to me, or, colloquially, a strong yes. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

20 GUIDED EXERCISE A think / pair / share to compose a two ‑ sentence answer to the following question:  How is the Blessed Virgin Mary the Ark of the New Covenant? 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

21 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary? The Blessed Virgin Mary remained a virgin before, during, and after the Birth of her Son. According to the Catechism, no. 490, what does full of grace mean? To become the Mother of the Savior, the Blessed Virgin Mary was “enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.” In what way did the Church’s understanding of full of grace culminate in 1854? Pope Bl. Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, stating the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

22 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the source of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s unique holiness? Its source is the merits her Son would win through his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. When did God decide to give this favor to the Blessed Virgin Mary? He decided to do so from all eternity. Did the Blessed Virgin Mary ever commit a sin? No; she remained free of every personal sin by the grace of God. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

23 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is not known about the Nativity of Christ that St. Luke’s audience did? It is not known exactly when Augustus’s enrollment occurred. Neither is it known precisely what it means to be enrolled. Why did St. Joseph have to go to Bethlehem? Everyone had to return to his ancestral city. St. Joseph’s ancestral city was Bethlehem because he was of the house of David. What did the Prophet Micah’s prophecy mean? It meant there would be a new ruler in Israel who would come from Bethlehem, and he would be of the lineage of that city. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

24 FOCUS QUESTIONS Where was the infant Christ laid? He was laid in a manger, i.e., a feeding trough. What would the shepherds understand the titles Savior, Christ, and Lord to have meant? Savior meant he would rescue his people from bondage. Christ referred to the Anointed successor of David. Lord meant the one who sits at God’s right hand. Extension: In Psalm 110:1, David said, “The Lord says to my lord: /’Sit at my right hand, / till I make your enemies / your footstool.’” “Lord” referred to God the Father; “lord” referred to David’s Lord, God the Son, who is the Christ. David’s lord sits at the right hand of the Lord. Why was it appropriate for the first people to have heard of the Birth of the Son of David to have been shepherds outside Bethlehem? David himself was a shepherd who tended flocks outside of Bethlehem. Extension: Shepherds were poor and humble outcasts; to them Christ proclaimed the Good News. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

25 CLOSURE Write a paragraph defending this proposition:  Given her vocation, it is fitting for the Blessed Virgin Mary to have been preserved from all stain of Original Sin and be full of grace. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

26 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 7–12 (p. 337)  Practical Exercise 3 (p. 337)  Workbook Questions 11–19  Read “Nunc Dimittis” through “Teaching the Teachers” (pp. 330–334) 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

27 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT In assigned groups of three or four, read the Magnificat and identify elements of the history of Israel in the Old Testament in this prayer. Share findings. 2. The Advent of Christ (pp. 324–329)

28 ANTICIPATORY SET Incorporate into the Opening Prayer a decade of the Rosary—either the Presentation in the Temple or the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple—using the scriptural method (cf. Anticipatory Set, p. 324). 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

29 BASIC QUESTIONS  What is Christ’s Presentation in the Temple?  What is the Adoration of the Magi?  What is the Slaughter of the Innocents?  What are the Finding in the Temple and Christ’s hidden life? KEY IDEAS  At the Presentation in the Temple, Sts. Simeon and Anna recognized the infant Christ as the fulfillment of the promises made to David: the glory to Israel and salvation for all.  Wise men from the East, representing the nations, were the first Gentiles to adore Christ.  Fearing a rival to his throne, Herod the Great ordered the slaughter of all male children in Bethlehem under two years old; St. Joseph took the Blessed Virgin Mary and Christ into Egypt for safety.  Christ’s wisdom was revealed when he was twelve at the Finding in the Temple; during his hidden years—from his infancy until he began his public ministry—Christ lived an ordinary life, sharing the condition of the vast majority of human beings. 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

30 FOCUS QUESTIONS What does Nunc Dimittis mean, and what is it? It is Latin for now you dismiss. St. Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit he would not die before he saw the Messiah. The words nunc dimittis began his prayer while he beheld the infant Christ. St. Simeon told God he was ready to be dismissed (to die). What would the light of Christ do for Israel and the Gentiles? Christ’s light would give glory to Israel and be a revelation to the Gentiles. What did St. Simeon prophesy would be the effect of Christ on Israel? St. Simeon prophesied Christ would divide Israel and be a sign of contradiction. 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

31 FOCUS QUESTIONS Who were the Magi? They may have been astrologers from Persia. Why might Herod have been especially nervous about Balaam’s prophecy to Balak? Balaam’s prophecy spoke of a rising star, representing a son of Jacob, who will dispossess an Edomite. The new king whom the Magi were seeking was born in Bethlehem, so he was a son of Jacob, and Herod was from Edom. Herod could have been afraid the infant king the Magi came to visit would someday overthrow Herod or his line (cf. Nm 24:17). What was the significance of the gifts of gold and frankincense? They are gifts Isaiah predicted would be brought by the nations to the God of Israel. 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

32 GUIDED EXERCISE Conduct a think / pair / share using the following question:  How do the Magi fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy (cf. 60:3, 6)? 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

33 FOCUS QUESTIONS What did the gift of myrrh signify? It signified the priesthood since it was a spice added to the holy oil used to anoint the priests of Israel; it also signified Christ’s Death on the Cross since myrrh was used to anoint a dead body for burial. What three events in Christ’s life does the Feast of the Epiphany celebrate? It celebrates the Adoration of the Magi, his Baptism in the Jordan, and the Wedding Feast of Cana. Extension: Epiphany means showing forth. The Magi appeared and revealed Christ to be the King of the Jews. In Christ’s Baptism, his divine Sonship was revealed. In the Wedding Feast at Cana, he performed what St. John the Evangelist called his first sign. How would the pagans come to discover and worship Christ according to the Catechism, no. 528? They would turn to the Jews and receive from them the messianic promises of the Old Testament. Extension: The proselytes of the Gate had already done this very thing. 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

34 GUIDED EXERCISE Discuss similarities between the infancies of Moses and Christ. 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

35 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why did the Holy Family flee to Egypt? They fled from Herod, who wanted to kill Christ. Why would the Holy Family’s residence in Egypt not have attracted attention? There were large Jewish populations in Egypt. Why is it believable Herod ordered the slaughter of the innocents? Herod often used murder to get his way, even killing three of his own sons and his favorite wife. 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

36 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is it probable St. Luke learned about the Finding in the Temple from the Blessed Virgin Mary herself? St. Luke tells the story from her and St. Joseph’s point of view. What is unique chronologically about the Finding in the Temple? It is the only recorded story of Christ’s life from his infancy until he began his public ministry when he was about thirty years of age. What did Christ do during the first thirty years of his life? During his hidden life, Christ shared the condition of the vast majority of human beings, living an ordinary life of work, faith, and family. 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

37 CLOSURE Free write for five minutes about one of the Basic Questions of the lesson:  What is the Presentation in the Temple?  What is the Adoration of the Magi?  What is the Slaughter of the Innocents?  What is the Finding in the Temple and Christ’s hidden life? 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

38 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 13–18 (p. 337)  Workbook Questions 20–28 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

39 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Discussion: The Holy Innocents have always been considered to be martyrs and redeemed by Christ.  Why does this makes sense?  Can the Slaughter of the Innocents be linked to the practice of abortion in our own time? 3. The Infancy of Christ (pp. 330–334)

40 The End


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