There are three of the greatest gifts to man at creation. "We ask for the grace to keep this identity of children, to work on the gift he has given us and carry on with our work, and the grace to learn to love more each day."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - At the time of creation God gave three gifts to man: he made him in His own image, made him lord of creation and gave him woman to love, said Pope Francis today during the Mass celebrated this morning in Santa Marta.
The Holy Father’s homily at Mass focused on the verses of Psalm 8: "Lord, what is man that you are mindful of him? Yet you have made him little less than a god, crowned him with glory and honor,” and on the Book of Genesis’ account of the Creation of man and woman.
The Pope spoke about the first of three great gifts, which God gave humanity in creation. "First of all, He gave us His 'DNA', that is, He made us children, created us in His image, in His image and likeness, like Him. And when one makes a child, he cannot take it back: the son is made, he exists. And whether or not he carries resembles the father, he is a son; he has received his identity. If the child is good, his father is proud of that son, right?, 'Look at how good he is!'. And even if he is a little ugly, the father in any case says: 'Isn’t he beautiful!', because a father is like this. Always. And if the son is bad, the father justifies him, waiting for him ... Jesus taught us how a father waits for his children. He gave us the identity of a child: to 'man and woman', we must add the identity of ‘child’. We 'are like gods', because we are children of God."
God’s second gift in Creation, Pope Francis said, is a ‘task’: God ‘gave us all the earth’, to ‘dominate’ and ‘subdue’, as the account in Genesis narrates. God therefore has given humanity a certain ‘royalty’, he added, because God does not want a ‘slave’ but ‘a lord, a king’, entrusted with a task: "As [God] worked in Creation, He has given us work, the work of advancing Creation. Not to destroy it; but to make it grow, to care for it, to keep it and make it carry on. He gave everything. It’s funny, I sometimes think, ‘He did not give us money.’ We have everything. Who gave us money? I don’t know. Grandmothers have this saying that ‘the devil enters through the pocket’. This may be… God gave humanity all of Creation to preserve it and care for it: this is the gift. And finally, 'God created mankind in His image, male and female He created them.'"
Pope Francis went on to explore the third and final gift, love, beginning with the love shared between a man and a woman. “Male and female He created them. It is not good for the man to be alone. And He made his partner,” the Pope said. In love, God gives man love and a "dialogue of love", which, the Holy Father said, must have been the first between man and woman.
The Pope concluded with a look at Creation, thanking God for these three gifts given in Creation. "Let us thank God for these three gifts He has given us: an identity, a gift/duty, and love. And let us ask for the grace to preserve this identity of a child, to work with the gift He has given us and to advance this gift with our work, and the grace to learn to love ever more each day."
"Human pride, exploiting Creation, destroys. However, the Lord does not leave us alone and, even in this desolate picture, He offers us a new prospect of liberation, of universal salvation." For South Sudan, where "a serious food crisis is underway which condemns millions of people to death by starvation, including many children", "declarations are not enough, concrete aid is needed".
Receiving a group of representatives from the London Institute of Jainology Francis speaks of "safeguarding" the Earth, "in the knowledge that caring for, protecting creation, the Earth, means caring for and protecting all of humanity".
God created the world "to share its fullness to have someone to whom and with whom to share its fullness." "Each of us should ask ourselves how we live these two wonders, the wonder of creation and even more wonder of re-creation."
At the Angelus, Pope Francis expresses his closeness to the families affected by the earthquake in Latium, Marches, and Umbria. He plans to visit to bring "in person the comfort of the faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope." As “pride, careerism, vanity, and ostentation are the cause of many evils”, it is better to choose “free giving instead of opportunist calculation to get a reward.” Canteens for the poor “spread the culture of free giving”. The World Day of Prayer for the care of Creation is set for 1 September "together with our Orthodox brothers and other ecclesial communities."