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Man occupies a unique place in creation. “In the image of God” he is created and “in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; he is created “male and female”; God established him in his friendship.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church: Para 355.
The greatness of man’s creation by God has been made possible by the lowliest of all that we know as visible matter – that which we call dust. Contemplating on the symbolism of dust and the unique greatness of man’s being and dignity in God’s eyes, it compels my mind and heart to consider my kind; the human kind as a Divine revelation of humility. It is as though God created greatness within the mold of humbleness. This is also therefore symbolic to what it means to create or build a house of worship, or in other words, the temple of The Lord. This structure of worship, which we also refer to as the Church, where ‘the Church’ – the children of God; the flock of The Good Shepherd gather to worship and pray, is intended to be an embodiment of humility. The radiance of this humility is illuminated by the fact that it is one place where sinners and saints sit at the same table, partake in the same sacrifice, and dignify each other with the same heritage – the heritage of Divinity & holiness.
Consider this: the Holy of Holies whose nature is spirit and whose dwelling is above all comprehending reach, chose to create the most tangible, pure and sacred dwelling place such as the human person, for Himself to dwell, not in a way that a part or portion of His Divinity would be preserved in some other realm and that which the human faculty might bear would host the rest. Instead, God Almighty, according to His most Sacred and most loving being, chose to dwell within the being of a man, in all His fullness. The first man (and woman) was the virginal chalice in which the image of God (not to be misunderstood with Deity); was fearfully poured, embodied with all of His love, compassion, glory, purity and all those faculties which would have ensured eternal companionship and sharing in Divine sovereignty.
Towards the end of 100 Anno Domini, St. Irenaeus wrote, “….having become disobedient, [Eve] was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race….Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith. …But this man [of whom I have been speaking] is Adam, if truth be told, the first-formed man….We, however, are all from him; and as we are from him, we have inherited his title [of sin]. …Indeed, through the first Adam, we offended God by not observing His command. Through the second Adam, however, we are reconciled, and are made obedient even unto death. For we were debtors to none other except to Him, whose commandment we transgressed at the beginning. (Against Heresies 3:22:4; 3:23:2; 5:16:3)
Sin, therefore, is that mark on our soul which reminds us of the depriving of our immaculate relationship with the one who is Most Holy and Above All, both that are visible and invisible. It is a visible stain in the holy vessel which the Divine potter chose to pour incredible grace & dominion. It is brutal defamation of the temple which hosts the Creator of the universe, the giver of life. Now, that which has been built by the one who is Most Holy, upon its desecration has to be re-built with a power that does not depend on any source or power which is conceivable by any human or supernatural understanding. God created this temple; the human creation, and it takes only God to mercifully re-build this temple. But how does God re-build this temple which has been overpowered by a force and power (Satan) which is fiercely perilous for both the mortal and spiritual being of the human soul?
It takes God Himself to interfere between the now mortal state of His once holy vessel (human person) and His Arch enemy – the Devil. God begins His merciful work of re-building this temple from the very root of its substance. God, through the incarnation of Christ His Son, chooses to once again purify and fortify man’s sacred being by sanctifying the source of His earthly admittance into the created world. His love first brought forth through Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary – the Theotokos (Mother of God); the Ark that would bear the Seed of eternal destruction of Satan. He then humbles Himself to be born in a cattle shed, therefore re-building the sacredness of humility. Then by His own will He blankets mankind with love and compassion through proclaiming the Word to the peoples, thus re-building hope for heavenly joy. He heals the wounds of the flesh and of the spirit, where-by He re-builds the authority of The Spirit of God, who desires to pour himself in abundance upon the human race. By willingly and unconditionally submitting Himself to unthinkable cruelty, wickedness, disgust, impurity, treachery, betrayal, profanity and sacrilege, He re-builds the dominion of forgiveness. As a sacrificial lamb, nailed upon a tree, to be slaughtered for the sake of man’s salvation, Christ Jesus once and for all reconciles all of humanity (living and those who died before Him, right from the beginning of time) with the maker all – the one who is His eternal & merciful Father. Finally, Jesus; the master builder of this temple (man), by His glorious resurrection; destroys Satan’s rule over man’s soul, and thus re-builds the door way to eternal life, in the presence of the one who is God the Almighty, with the company of His Saints, Angels and all heavenly & holy beings. Amen.