CCC 142 By his Revelation, “the invisible God, from the fullness of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company.”1 The adequate response to this invitation is faith.
CCC 241 For this reason the apostles confess Jesus to be the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”; as “the image of the invisible God”; as the “radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature”.2
CCC 291 “In the beginning was the Word. .. and the Word was God. .. all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”3 The New Testament reveals that God created everything by the eternal Word, his beloved Son. In him “all things were created, in heaven and on earth. .. all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”4 The Church’s faith likewise confesses the creative action of the Holy Spirit, the “giver of life”, “the Creator Spirit” (Veni, Creator Spiritus), the “source of every good”.5
CCC 299 Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: “You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight.”6 The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the “image of the invisible God”, is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the “image of God” and called to a personal relationship with God.7 Our human understanding, which shares in the light of the divine intellect, can understand what God tells us by means of his creation, though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work.8 Because creation comes forth from God’s goodness, it shares in that goodness – “And God saw that it was good. .. very good”9- for God willed creation as a gift addressed to man, an inheritance destined for and entrusted to him. On many occasions the Church has had to defend the goodness of creation, including that of the physical world.10
CCC 331 Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are his angels: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. .. ”11 They belong to him because they were created through and for him: “for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”12 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?”13
CCC 504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.”14 From his conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God “gives him the Spirit without measure.”15 From “his fullness” as the head of redeemed humanity “we have all received, grace upon grace.”16
CCC 624 “By the grace of God” Jesus tasted death “for every one”.17 In his plan of salvation, God ordained that his Son should not only “die for our sins”18 but should also “taste death”, experience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his body, between the time he expired on the cross and the time he was raised from the dead. The state of the dead Christ is the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb,19 reveals God’s great sabbath rest20 after the fulfillment21 of man’s salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe.22
CCC 753 In Scripture, we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church. The images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme: the People of God. In the New Testament, all these images find a new center because Christ has become the head of this people, which henceforth is his Body.23 Around this center are grouped images taken “from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land, from the art of building or from family life and marriage.”24
CCC 792 Christ “is the head of the body, the Church.”25 He is the principle of creation and redemption. Raised to the Father’s glory, “in everything he [is] preeminent,”25 especially in the Church, through whom he extends his reign over all things.
CCC 1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:
The Church. .. will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.27
CCC 1701 “Christ,. .. in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, makes man fully manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted vocation.”28 It is in Christ, “the image of the invisible God,”29 that man has been created “in the image and likeness” of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.30
CCC 2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the messianic “Prince of Peace.”31 By the blood of his Cross, “in his own person he killed the hostility,”32 he reconciled men with God and made his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union with God. “He is our peace.”33 He has declared: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”34
CCC 2641 “[Address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.”35 Like the inspired writers of the New Testament, the first Christian communities read the Book of Psalms in a new way, singing in it the mystery of Christ. In the newness of the Spirit, they also composed hymns and canticles in the light of the unheard-of event that God accomplished in his Son: his Incarnation, his death which conquered death, his Resurrection, and Ascension to the right hand of the Father.36 Doxology, the praise of God, arises from this “marvelous work” of the whole economy of salvation.37
1 DV 2; cf. Col 1:15; I Tim 1:17; Ex 33:11; Jn 15:14-15; Bar 3:38 (Vulg.).
2 Jn 1:1; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3.
3 Jn 1:1-3.
4 Col 1:16-17.
5 Cf. Nicene Creed: DS 150; Hymn “Veni, Creator Spiritus”; Byzantine Troparion of Pentecost Vespers, “O heavenly King, Consoler”.
6 Wis 11:20.
7 Col 1:15, Gen 1:26.
8 Cf. Ps 19:2-5; Job 42:3.
9 Gen 1:4,10,12,18,21,31.
10 Cf. DS 286; 455-463; 800; 1333; 3002.
11 Mt 25:31.
12 Col 1:16.
13 Heb 1:14.
14 I Cor 15:45,47.
15 Jn 3:34.
16 Jn 1:16; cf. Col 1:18.
17 Heb 2:9.
18 I Cor 15:3.
19 Cf. Jn 19:42.
20 Cf. Heb 4:7-9.
21 Cf. Jn 19:30.
22 Cf Col 1: 18-20.
23 Cf. Eph 1:22; Col 1:18; LG 9.
24 LG 6.
25 Col 1:18.
26 Col 1:18.
27 LG 48; Cf. Acts 3:21; Eph 1:10; Col 1:20; 2 Pet 3:10-13.
28 GS 22.
29 Col 1:15; cf. 2 Cor 4:4.
30 Cf. GS 22.
31 Isa 9:5.
32 Eph 2:16 J.B.; cf. Col 1:20-22.
33 Eph 2:14.
34 Mt 5:9.
35 Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.
36 Cf. Phil 2:6-11; Col 1:15-20; Eph 5:14; 1 Tim 3:16; 6:15-16; 2 Tim 2:11-13.
37 Cf. Eph 1:3-14; Rom 16:25-27; Eph 3:20-21; Jude 24-25.