Adoption in the Beloved
It is the certain faith of the Catholic Church that the sovereign purpose of Christ’s Incarnation, his life, death, passion, resurrection and ascension, is that we might come to share his divinity, who humbled himself to share our humanity; that we might become sons of God by adoption through him; that the image of God within us, marred by sin, might be restored to its shining, unsullied and original splendour. This is God’s gift to us of a share in his own divine life: not, indeed, by our absorption into the divine nature, but through our total participation in an outpouring of God’s grace.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the world began, to be holy and without blame in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will; to the praise of his glorious grace which he has freely given us in the Beloved.
Jesus is “the new man” (see Eph 4:24; Col 3:10) who calls redeemed humanity to share in His divine life. The mystery of the Incarnation lays the foundations for an anthropology which, reaching beyond its own limitations and contradictions, moves towards God Himself, indeed towards the goal of divinization. This occurs through the grafting of the redeemed on to Christ and their admission into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life. The Fathers have laid great stress on this soteriological dimension of the mystery of the Incarnation: it is only because the Son of God truly became man that man, in him and through him, can truly become a son of God.
Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 23