“The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come, namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown.”
Today we finish Chapter 1 of Part I of the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World with one of the most oft-quoted paragraphs of all the Council documents. John Paul II was particularly fond of quoting it.
Basically, it all comes down to Christ. We cannot fully understand ourselves without understanding Him.
Here are the Scripture references:
And the footnotes:
20. Cf. Rom. 5: 14. Cf. Tertullian, De carnis resurrectione 6: “The shape that the slime of the earth was given was intended with a view to Christ, the future man.”: P. 2, 282; CSEL 47, p. 33, 1. 12-13.
21. Cf. 2 Cor. 4:4.
22. Cf. Second Council of Constantinople, canon 7: “The divine Word was not changed into a human nature, nor was a human nature absorbed by the Word.” Denzinger 219 (428); Cf. also Third Council of Constantinople: “For just as His most holy and immaculate human nature, though deified, was not destroyed (theotheisa ouk anerethe), but rather remained in its proper state and mode of being”: Denzinger 291 (556); Cf. Council of Chalcedon:” to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion change, division, or separation.” Denzinger 148 (302).
23. Cf. Third Council of Constantinople: “and so His human will, though deified, is not destroyed”: Denzinger 291 (556).
24. Cf. Heb. 4:15.
28. Cf. Rom. 8:1-11.
29. Cf. 2 Cor. 4:14.
31. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 2, n. 16: AAS 57 (1965), p. 20.
32. Cf. Rom. 8:32.
33. Cf. The Byzantine Easter Liturgy.