... There is is a unique sense in which Christ is the "image of God" (2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15). The Fathers of the Church therefore say that when God created man "in his image," he looked toward the Christ who was to come, and created man according to the image of the "new Adam," the man who is the criterion of the human. Above all, though Jesus is "the Son" in the strict sense -- he is of one substance with the Father. He wants to draw all of us into his humanity and so into his Sonship, into his total belonging to God.
This gives the concept of being God's children a dynamic quality: We are not ready-made children of God from the start, but are meant to become so increasingly by growing more and more deeply in communion with Jesus. Our sonship turns out to be identical with following Christ. To name God as Father thus becomes a summons to us: to live as a "child," as a son or daughter. "All that is mine is yours (??? check this word)," Jesus says in his high-priestly prayer to the Father (Jn 17:10), and the father says the same thing to the elder brother of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:31). The word father is an invitation to live from our awareness of this reality. Hence, too, the delusion of false emancipation, which marked the beginning of mankind's history of sin, is overcome. Adam, heeding the words of the serpent, wants to become god himself and to shed his need for God. We see that to be God's child is not a matter of dependency, but rather of standing in the relation of love that sustains man's existence and gives it meaning and grandeur.Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger (a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Whoops! I skipped right around this in posting that first part on prayer the other day. I liked these thoughts on the concepts of being children of God.