Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

First Advisor

Bernard Cooke


The Word is made flesh. Christ dwells among us. This mystery of the Incarnation in promise and fulfillment is the focal point of human history. Creation was in and through the Son. So too, recreation, Salvation history is in terms of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Christ is the Father's choice for the world. He willed a fleshy, bodily existence for His Son. Such a choice in flesh, blood and body of the Son in time, found preparation in the signs of flesh, blood and body in God's people of the old Covenant. It was in sign and symbol of body and blood that Israel was marked and distinguished as Yahweh's family, His chosen One. In the human body, God placed his sign of love and choice. What this choice and vocation meant in terms of personal commitment and love developed. throughout Old Testament history. In the body and blood of the God-man, the promise of revelation and salvation was fulfilled. In the God-man, in the new Covenant of union in His Body and Blood, a new family is created.

Covenant love was spelled out for man in terms of marriage. Israel was Yahweh's Bride. The Church is the Bride and Body of Christ. Intimacy, knowledge, and love in marriage are not only signs of the Covenant but contain a deeper reality. With the historical coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, flesh and blood receive a new power. What is not God, when taken up into Jesus Christ, becomes capable of transforming into God. Man and woman in Christian marriage receive Christ's power to transform each other. Marriage is more than a shallow sign of the love of God for men. Christ's Spirit enables man and woman to love as He loves, so that they impart to each other the Life the Father intends for all men.

It is the purpose of Part lI of this paper to explore the Covenant Mystery of Marriage as found in both the Old and New Covenants. Part II will deal with the sacramental life and power which the Incarnation gives to Matrimony.