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."
"So often we see teh preference for a pastoral work of preservation and not one that allows the Kingdom to grow. We stay exactly as we are, tiny, over there where we are safe and sound ... And the Kingdom does not grow. " Within us "there is a force that triggers this: there is the Holy Spirit," which "gives us hope". Concretely, this means to let "these forces of the Spirit" "help us grow" toward the fullness that awaits us in glory.
"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".
At the Angelus, Pope Francis emphasizes the way Jesus lived: "preaching and working for what really matters and is essential, that is, love." "Jesus wants to make it clear that without love of God and neighbor there is no true fidelity." "We need to receive in us the ability to love that comes from God Himself." In Brazil yesterday Murialdo priest Giovanni Schiavo, was beatified.
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."