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Catechism of the Catholic Church

God takes the initiative of universal redeeming love

604 By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: "In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins." 408 God "shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." 409

605 At the end of the parable of the lost sheep Jesus recalled that God's love excludes no one: "So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." 410 He affirms that he came "to give his life as a ransom for many"; this last term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us. 411 The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer." 412


408 I John 4:10; 4:19.

409 Rom 5:8.

410 Mt 18:14.

411 Mt 20:28; cf. Rom 5:18-19.

412 Council of Quiercy (853): DS 624; cf. 2 Cor 5:15; I Jn 2:2.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.