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Tuesday, February 9, 1999

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Genesis 1:20—2:4
Psalm 8
Mark 7:1-13

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from ruined masterpiece to...

"God said: 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.' " —Genesis 1:26

Of all creation, only human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. When God, the Creator, looked at the oceans and mountains He had created, He said "good" (Gn 1:12, 18). After God created human beings, He said "very good" (Gn 1:31). We are the crown of creation. We are God's pride and joy.

Consequently, Satan, in his rebellion against and hatred of God, thought that disfiguring God's prize creation would be the best way to offend God. So Satan seduced us into yielding to his temptations. In that way, he wounded and warped human nature. God's masterpiece seemed ruined.

Then God sent His Son to become a human being. Jesus, the God-Man, is the perfect Image of the Father (Col 1:15) and the perfect Man (Eph 4:13). By being baptized into Him and by imitating Him, we "are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image by the Lord Who is the Spirit" (2 Cor 3:18). Thus our disfigured, wounded, warped, and fallen human nature is buried, and we receive a new nature by which we share in the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). Thus, as new creations (see Gal 6:15), we are even more in the image and likeness of God than we were when human beings were first created. The Lord has worked all things together for the good of those who love Him (Rm 8:28). Baptized into Christ and made holy by the Holy Spirit, we live as Christ's disciples — restored and transformed into an even better image and likeness of God. We are the crown of God's new creation. We are more than His pride and joy. We are amazingly His sons and daughters. Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, thank You for loving me so much that You adopted me as Your child.

Promise:  "God blessed them, saying: 'Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.' " —Gn 1:28

Praise:  "I give You thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works" (Ps 139:14).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998