Friday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time
God created man in his image
Paul VI, Pope from 1963-1978
Address of 04/05/1970 to the Équipes Notre Dame (© copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
"God created man in his image..., man and woman he created them" (Gn 1,27)
As holy Scripture teaches us, before being a sacrament marriage is a great, earthly reality. “God created man in his image; in the image of God he created him, man and woman he created them.” We always have to go back to that first page of the Bible if we would understand what is, what should be a human couple, a home... The duality of the sexes has been willed by God that, together, man and woman might be in the image of God and, like him, a source of life: “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (v.28). A careful reading of the prophets, the Wisdom books, the New Testament, shows us, besides, the meaning of this fundamental reality and teaches us not to reduce it to physical desire... but to discover in it the complementarity of man and women's values, the greatness and the fragility of conjugal love, its fruitfulness and its openness to the mystery of God's plan of love. Today this teaching retains all its value and arms us against temptations to a destructive eroticism...
As Christians know, human love is good in its origins and if, like everything in man, it is wounded and deformed by sin, it finds healing and redemption in Christ... How many couples have found their way to sanctity in their conjugal life, in that community of life that is the only one to be founded on a sacrament! Work of the Holy Spirit, baptismal rebirth makes “, “a new creation” of us, “so that we too might live in newness of life” (cf Tt 3,5; Gal 6,15; Rm 6,4). In this great work of renewing all things in Christ, marriage too, purified and renewed, becomes a new reality, a sacrament of the New Covenant. And see how, at the threshold of the New Testament as at the entrance to the Old, there stands a couple. But whereas that represented by Adam and Eve was the source of the evil unleashed on the world, that of Joseph and Mary is the summit from which holiness spreads over all the earth.
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