Let us return to the question: “Why did God become man?” St. Irenaeus writes: “The word has become the dispenser of the Father’s glory for the usefulness of men…. The glory of God is the living man — ‘vivens homo’ — and the life of man consists in the vision of God” (“Adv. Haer,” IV, 20.5.7).
God’s glory is manifested, therefore, in the salvation of man, whom God has so loved “who gave him,” as John’s Gospel affirms, “his only Son so that he who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). So love is the ultimate reason for Christ’s incarnation.
Eloquent in this respect is the reflection of the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, who wrote: God “is not, in the first place, absolute power, but absolute love whose sovereignty is not manifested in keeping for himself what belongs to him, but in its abandonment” (“Mysterium Paschale,” 1,14).