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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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  • CHAPTER III
      • 60
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Theological foundations

60. "But when the time had fully come" (Gal 4:4), the Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Only Son of God, "by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man".92 This is the sublime mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, a mystery which took place in history: in clearly defined circumstances of time and space, amidst a people with its own culture, a people that God had chosen and accompanied throughout the entire history of salvation, in order to show through what he did for them what he intended to do for the whole human race.

Jesus Christ is the unmistakable proof of God's love for humanity (cf. Rom 5:8). By his life, his preaching of the Good News to the poor, his Passion, Death and glorious Resurrection, he brought about the remission of our sins and our reconciliation with God, his Father and, thanks to him, our Father too. The Word that the Church proclaims is precisely the Word of God made man, who is himself the subject and object of this Word. The Good News is Jesus Christ.

Just as "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14), so too the Good News, the Word of Jesus Christ proclaimed to the nations, must take root in the life-situation of the hearers of the Word. Inculturation is precisely this insertion of the Gospel message into cultures.93 For the Incarnation of the Son of God, precisely because it was complete and concrete,94 was also an incarnation in a particular culture.




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