Posted November 1, 2008
If you suffer from an inferiority complex and want a Scriptural uplift, spend a meditative moment pondering the common but underestimated statement of the Bible that tells us that we humans are made “according to the image and likeness of God.”
In the primordial Trinitarian trialogue (Genesis 1:26) God said, “Let us make humankind according to our image and according to our likeness.” (See also Gen. 5:1 and 9:6, and the loss of God-like moral integrity in Eccle. 7:29.) Further references can be found in Acts, 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:7; 2 Cor. 3:18 and 4:4; Eph. 4:21; Col. 1:15; and 3:10; James 3:9.
Man is made to the “image” of God by having a spiritual (non-material) soul, as God is immaterial, by having an immortal soul, reflecting the eternity of God, by having an intellect as God does, and by having a free will, as God does. That’s on the natural order, says St. Thomas Aquinas.
On the supernatural order, humans are in the “likeness” of God when they are in the state of grace (free of unrepented mortal sin), says St. Bonaventure, quoting 2 Peter. 1:4, which states that by grace we are “participants of God’s divine nature.
In reference to the future of our human nature, our “God-likeness” will reflect a parent-child resemblance, as stated in 1 John 3:2,: “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.”
That’s a thought worth thinking!
Fr. John Hampsch, cmf