RANDOM THOUGHTS by Peachy Maramba
(Note: Almost the whole text of my article was taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)
God the Creator
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Holy Scripture begins with these solemn words.
When we pray the Apostles’ Creed we profess that God is ‘Creator of heaven and earth’. The Nicene Creed includes ‘all that is seen and unseen.’
Creation of Man
In the story of creation (see the first three chapters of Genesis in the Bible) we learn that God created man on the sixth day after he had created the visible world. Man is the summit of the Creator’s work. We know this by the fact that the account of the creation of man he came last and was clearly distinguished from the creation of the other creatures.
In the Image of God
‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them’ (Genesis 1:27). Of all visible creatures only man is ‘able to know and love his creator’. He is the only creature on earth that God has willed for his own sake. And he alone is called to share by knowledge and love in God’s own life. It was for this end that he was created and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity.
St. Catherine of Siena tells us that “. . . . by love indeed you created man, by love you have given him a being capable of tasting your external Good.”
Christians believe that the work has been established and kept in being by the Creator’s love.
God’s Secret: Exchange of Love
St. John tells us that God is Love. God’s very being is love. God so loved the world that He gave his only Son. By doing this God revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love . . . and he has destined us to share in that exchange.
The Word became flesh so that we might know God’s love. On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: “Listen to him!” In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only son into the world, so that we might live through him.
The world became flesh to be our model of holiness: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes.
The word became flesh in order to save us by reconciling us with God who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” The Nicene Creed tells us: “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God put us in the world to know, to love and to serve him and so come to paradise.
Man as Bearer of God’s Victorious Love
As bearers of God’s victorious love over sin and death we as Christians are called to lead henceforth a life worthy of the gospel of Christ . . . to be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love . . . by loving him with the same love with which he has loved us.
Man is obliged to follow the moral law which urges him “to do what is good and avoid what is evil.”
The Beatitudes are the heart of Jesus’s preaching. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement – but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love. It reforms the heart, the root of human acts.
Since the Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ, they express the vocation of the faithful and shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of Christian life.
The Law of the Gospel
Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: abide in my love. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. This is the entire Law of the Gospel. It is summed up in the Golden Rule.
Christ died out of love for us. The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself.
See Matthew 5: 3-12 for the Beatitudes.
Since God created everything for man and attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man, man is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give. Let our response this year be a fitting one!
As published in the April 16 issue of the Parish Bulletin.