Mysteries of Christ's Life

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

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The Stories (512-513)

The Creed says nothing explicitly about Jesus' hidden or public life. Because all that Jesus did and taught is important, catechesis uses the Gospel stories.

We study three things:

  1. Elements common to all the stories
  2. A sketch of Jesus' hidden life
  3. A sketch of Jesus' public life

Stories That Reveal the Mystery (514-515)

The Gospels do not record every event of Jesus' life (even of his public ministry). The stories were written so we "may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" and therefore, "have life in his name (Jn 20:31).

The four evangelists had faith in Jesus and wanted to share their faith. They recorded Jesus' deeds, miracles, and words to reveal that in him "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9). His humanity was a "sacrament," a sign and instrument of our salvation. His earthly life led to the invisible mystery of his divine sonship and redemptive mission.

The Mystery at Work in the Stories (516-518)

All of Jesus' words and deeds are a revelation of his Father. "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn 14:9). Jesus always did his Father's will and his life shows "God's love among us" (Jn 4:9).

Christ's whole life is a mystery of redemption, which comes primarily through his death on the cross. This mystery is at work in his poor birth, his hidden life of obedience, his purifying word, his miracles and exorcisms, and in his Resurrection.

In all his words and deeds, Jesus aimed at restoring fallen man to his original vocation. "When Christ became incarnate, he procured for us a ‘short cut' to salvation. What we lost in Adam, we might recover in Christ Jesus" (St. Irenaeus).

We Share His Riches (519-521)

Christ's riches are for everyone. He lived and died "for us men and for our salvation" (1 Cor 15:3). He is still "our advocate before the Father" (1 Jn 1:1) for he "lives to make intercession for us" (Heb 7:25). Jesus invites us to be his disciples and to follow him.

By becoming a man, Christ enables us to live in him. "We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus' life" (St. John Eudes).

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