June 25, 2011

Recreated by the Word

We're in the second part of Verbum Domini, at long last. In the first section, "The Word Of God And The Church", Pope Benedict XVI cites St. Augustine on our creation. "(Y)ou were created through the word, but now through the word you must be recreated." St. Augustine is commenting on St. John's Gospel. John tells us that "to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God." (John 1:12-13)

Created by the Word

In the beginning was the Word, and by God's Word all things were made. (John 1:1-3) Whether our first parents were created directly or through an evolutionary process instituted by God, we are a result of that initial physical creation.

We are also a direct spiritual creation; however our bodies came into being (and always ultimately by God), our souls are a direct, special creation. [366]

Recreated by the Word

We were created by God's Word, and we must be recreated by God's Word. Our bodies will receive recreation by God in the end. (cf 1 Cor 15:51) Our souls are brought back to life, back into the spiritual order, when we receive the Word. We receive baptism in the name of Jesus, the Word of God. We receive the living Word in the Eucharist. And we receive the Word spoken to use at Mass and lived out by Christians in the world around us.

Most of us will not perform a baptism or distribute the Eucharist. All of us, however, are called to bring the Word of God into the world. We are sent forth at the end of each Mass for that purpose; the word "mass", in fact, comes from "missa" or "sending forth". The Holy Father reiterates a point made by Vatican II in Dei Verbum, that "a defining aspect of the Church" is that "she is a community that hears and proclaims the word of God."

We are to be instruments for spreading the Gospel. We are called to bring that Word of God that recreates us into the world, so that the world can be recreated, one soul at a time.

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