Dignity of the Human Person: God is love. Every human is created in God’s image. Every human person is a unique expression of God’s love.
Human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all of the principles of our social teaching.
Our focus point this week is:
Created in the Image of God
What Does Scripture Say?
“Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26)
Just as children share their parents’ DNA and reflect some of their features and personality, Scripture assures us that we are God’s children. Our spiritual DNA comes from God and each of us reflects some of God’s own characteristics.
What has the Church said over the years?
“At the same time, however, there is a growing awareness of the exalted dignity proper to the human person … Therefore, there must be made available to all persons everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter; the right to choose a state of life freely and to found a family, the right to education, to employment, to a good reputation, to respect, to appropriate information, to activity in accord with the upright norm of one’s own conscience, to protection of privacy and rightful freedom even in matters religious.” (Gaudium et Spes #26)
What was St. Vincent’s response?
St. Vincent understood that we are all made in God’s image. Thus he saw in every person’s face the very face of Christ.
“I have to love my neighbor as the image of God and the object of His Love, and to act in such a way that people, in their turn, love their Creator…” (Vincent DePaul)
What is our own experience?
Do we really see the face of Christ in others? When we make comments or gestures to others while in traffic or in public – would we make those same comments or gestures to Jesus?
We often do not see each other as God’s children, we just see “people”.
What action(s) are we called to?
It takes practice to look at others and see in them the face of Christ, to see the dignity that God created in them. We are called to look at each other and see God’s life reflected there.
Take time to look at people you encounter and ask yourself, “What do I know now about God because I encountered this person?”