I recently received the 8 vol. Latin-English Summa for Christmas! Since in taking Christology next semester, I will be taking along the Tertia Pars, hopefully reading the whole if it. I couldn't wait to get started, so I already read the first quaestio. A couple points stood out.
The first is St. Thomas' main reason for the fittingness of the incarnation: it is fitting for the invisible to be made visible so that it may be known. The incarnation is what comes to mind right away when one heard this premise, but this also the purpose of every word we speak and even every action we do. The material world is really at its best when it serves as a sign of a hidden reality, whether it is the nature of a thing, the mind or heart of a man, or God in his wisdom and power. Our bodies (although truly parts of us and not mere instruments) are signs of our interior life: where they go, whether they are healthy, what they do, who they are with. Certainly there accidental things that happen to them inasmuch as they are bodies an engage other bodies, but as long as they are our bodies, we are incapable of communicating without them. In the incarnation, God communicates himself completely through taking on a body (and soul!) which men can see, feels, and hear. This is what we celebrate on Christmas!
One more quick point is his arguments for why Christ did not come at beginning or at the end of the world. Christ is at once what is perfected and what perfects, so it is fitting that he come in the middle. He a perfected in being united to God, he perfects by uniting humanity to himself. One person! It is interesting that St. Thomas gets at the core of the incarnation in this first question, that seems at first to be merely a preface. Christ is God and man, perfected and perfected, beginning and end. Now he will explain what this means.
So that I stay consistent this semester and really absorb what I am reading, I now resolve to write at least a brief post each time I finish a question. This is my first one.
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