Laudato Si 65: Looking to the Bible

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Section II addresses “THE WISDOM OF THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNTS.” We start with a brief synopsis of Genesis.

65. Without repeating the entire theology of creation, we can ask what the great biblical narratives say about the relationship of human beings with the world. In the first creation account in the Book of Genesis, God’s plan includes creating humanity. After the creation of man and woman, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good” (Gen 1:31). The Bible teaches that every man and woman is created out of love and made in God’s image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26). This shows us the immense dignity of each person, “who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons”.[CCC 357]

Since the human race hasn’t been abandoned by God, despite our sins, it isn’t difficult to conclude this is the deeper undercurrent in our relationship with God–deeper than sin, original or otherwise. Human dignity was a theme of the last pope of the second millennium, and he is cited here:

Saint John Paul II stated that the special love of the Creator for each human being “confers upon him or her an infinite dignity”.[Angelus in Osnabrück (Germany) with the disabled, 16 November 1980: Insegnamenti 3/2 (1980), 1232] Those who are committed to defending human dignity can find in the Christian faith the deepest reasons for this commitment.

We can also look to significant passages in JP2’s encyclical Dives in Misericordiae, now coming to a conclusion in this site’s examination.

God has not abandoned us:

How wonderful is the certainty that each human life is not adrift in the midst of hopeless chaos, in a world ruled by pure chance or endlessly recurring cycles! The Creator can say to each one of us: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jer 1:5). We were conceived in the heart of God, and for this reason “each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary”.[Benedict XVI, Homily for the Solemn Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry (24 April 2005): AAS 97 (2005), 711]

“Each of us is necessary.” A good thought from the first pope of the new millennium. This reinforces the idea of a universal human dignity, as well as the importance of involving every person in the way we ponder and address important challenges to our planet. It’s not a sociological fact, but a reality of faith.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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