God delights in redeemed humanity
What you need to know:
- FYI. God knows best what we miss without Him, in remedying our sin, He shows the greatness of His loving mercy, writes, Msgr John Wynand Katende.
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!.. When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place— what is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler of the works of Your hands; You have placed everything under his feet…!”- Psalm 8. This awesome message is reiterated in Hebrews 2:6.
The biblical story of creation, depicts mankind as being specially loved by God. He is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). He is the most essential goal of the gigantic universe. All other creatures have a limited and fixed nature prescribed and bounded by natural law. Humans have a bodily and spiritual superiority of language, reason, upright posture, self determination and freedom, as well as his special supernatural gifts. The great questions regarding human dignity and human rights revolve around this superiority. It is, hence, erroneous to think that man is a mere biological substance, who from birth is destined to die. It is, likewise, sinful to manipulate a fellow human being.
Philosopher Hans-Eduard Hengstenberg says that the distinguishing mark of man is his “capacity for objectivity,” that is, his ability to go beyond his immediate interests and needs and to perceive himself and others as the beings that they are in their own right. “I do not just feel, I can also examine my feelings, approach them objectively, interpret them. I am not completely immersed in my world, I can look at it, can change it, compare it with other things, and can stand over against it in a critical spirit. I can think about it as well as about myself.”
Basing on Genesis 2:7, mankind is united with all living beings through their earthly origin, but they are human only through the soul that God breathed into them. The soul is immortal and eternal, because it it is immediately created by God. Because they have a soul, only human beings have responsibility, and they can (normally) be held accountable for their deeds. “Whoever saves one life, saves the whole world.” says Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Vienna.
God knows best what we miss without Him. In remedying our sin, He shows the greatness of His loving mercy. He does not merely restore us but elevates us to a higher place. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:47, says, “The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second man from heaven, heavenly.”. And in Galatians 4:4 Paul reveals that God appointed a time for the Incarnation within human history such that the greatest possible number of people could be saved. St. Augustine says: “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” We can, therefore, see why there is such great joy in Heaven when a sinner repents! (Luke 15:7).
When Pope Benedict XVI published his first encyclical, he introduced it with: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him,” (1 John 4:16). It is when we embrace God’s love and please Him, that we blossom and become the best versions of ourselves. God will say, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17).
God loves us in spite of our sins. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13). God becoming human for humanity’s salvation, has been the central message of Christmas. It continues until the end of time. Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:16). He says again in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” “The glory of God is man fully alive.”, underscores St. Iraneus.
There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13. Throughout the Bible we are shown what perfect love is. While the world cheapens love and only makes it available to those who are worthy, God’s love goes far beyond. He raises the bar for what love does and what it requires.