Two quotes from the POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION VERBUM DOMINI OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
Sept. 30, 2010
n.8 Scripture tells us that everything that exists does not exist by chance but is willed by God and part of his plan, at whose center is the invitation to partake, in Christ, in the divine life. Creation is born of the Logos and indelibly bears the mark of the creative Reason which orders and directs it;
n.121 The Prologue of John’s Gospel leads us to ponder the fact that everything that exists is under the sign of the Word. The Word goes forth from the Father, comes to dwell in our midst and then returns to the Father in order to bring with him the whole of creation which was made in him and for him.
Pope Benedict XVI, even as Cardinal Ratzinger, has spoken many times in favor of the Incarnation, not only as a redemptive mission, but as the centerpiece of God’s creative plan.
In the quotes above from his Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini he underscores the Scriptural revelation that all things are created in Christ and for Christ (cfr. Col 1:16), that the “center” of all creation is the loving invitation to “partake, in Christ, in the divine life.” In a word, everything that exists, exists in Christ and for Christ. He is at the center, the “firstborn of all creation” in such a way that we can, in Him, become children of God, and thus He is also the “firstborn of many brothers.”
The purpose, then, of our existence is found in Jesus alone. As St. Athanasius pointed out, and St. Augustine affirmed, God became man so that man might become God – that is, the Word Incarnate makes it possible for us to become a “partaker of the divine nature” as St. Peter points out (2 Pt 1:4), what has been called theosis, or diviniziation. Christ’s coming was not only to redeem man, but, as the Pope points out, He was sent forth from the Father, dwelt in our midst and then returned to the Father “in order to bring with Him the whole of creation which was made in Him and for Him.” In other words, Christ comes to elevate man to a supernatural existence in Him for the glory of God, to bring man to the Father and bring him into the divine, Trinitarian life.
fr. maximilian mary dean, F.I.