TIME. Spring 2019 - Page 14

This promise is fulfilled through the life of Jesus and his res- urrection from the dead. Both the whole of creation and the desires of the faithful through history seem to be moving to- wards this point, as it is expressed in Psalm 16:10 (NIV): “... because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.” And it is precise- ly in the resurrection of Jesus, in that conquering of death, where the faithful finds that his hope has been fulfilled. As Pope Emeritus Ratzinger beautifully writes in his book, A New Song for the Lord: “Resurrection means that through the twisted paths of sin and more powerfully than sin God ultimately says: ‘It is good’. God re-establishes his definitive ‘good’ to creation by taking it up into himself and thus changing it into a perma- nence beyond all transience” (Ratzinger 79). This means that the good that God spoke in the resurrection of Christ fundamentally transforms reality, allowing the hu- man body of His Son to be incorruptible and beyond the laws of death—essentially reversing the introduction of death af- ter the first sin. Thus, the light of eternity enters into human history and creation itself, and a full disclosure of the good that God thought in the beginning is realized in the Risen Christ. It is as if when God said “Let there be light,” He not only thought of the original creation, but also of the second creation through the resurrection of Christ, who is the true light of the world (John 8:12). What does it mean to live in this good creation, under this promise? To live in a good creation means that God’s power is effective in our lives and in the world. It also means that the statement “love conquers death” is not mere optimism, but a profound assertion about the way the world was designed to operate. If we believe this, we cannot become passive in our faith, but must bear witness to the reality of God’s action in the world through our own actions and words. Furthermore, to live in a good creation implies the responsibility to take care 14 Spring 2019 of it. This responsibility arises from God’s own promise found in the good of creation, and it is twofold. First, should we be- lieve that God is the true authority on what is good, there is a responsibility to trust, listen and be attentive to His word. Sec- ondly, we have a responsibility toward our fellow men to help them share in the promise of Therefore, through the God. If the good creation of God is fulfilled in the merits and victory of resurrection of Christ, then Christ, we are creat- we should follow the Risen ed anew, and through Christ, who sends us on a Christ and in Christ, our mission to make disciples of image and likeness to all nations. He himself says God is perfectly restored. in John 20:21(NIV): “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Lastly, we must forego things that may seem good according to man’s perception, but can ultimately cause us to reject God’s definition of good. In this way, we allow the light of God to shine forth through us and to the world. As we hold onto this promise of good, now in the form of the return of Christ, Christ himself still encourages us and confidently says through the gospel of John 16:33 (NIV): “...In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” As a conclusion, let us note that Christ as the true image of God is the fulfillment of God’s good creation. Therefore, through the merits and victory of Christ, we are created anew, and through Christ and in Christ, our image and likeness to God is perfectly restored. Thus, the supreme good is reestab- lished to humanity and creation and it consists in our union to God. This is what Jesus expresses in his prayer before his Passion, as recorded in John 17:20-21 (NIV): “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” Jorge Muñoz is a facilities management employee at Brown University.