Created in the image of God

Imago Dei Slide Show
See from Slides 12 to 23.

What Does it Mean to be made in the Image of God?

From Scripture
Humans are the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26–27)

The account of creation in the first chapter of Genesis is a biblical reflection on the nature of the human person as one who shares a likeness to God and reflects the image of God. Each human being is unique and is invited to share in the company of God (DV2).

Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (Ex. 33:11; John 15:14–15) and lives among them (Bar. 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself.

Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, No. 2

The ‘word became flesh, he lived among us’ John 1:14

At the heart of Christian faith is the mystery of the incarnation. God who is one, holy and transcendent, entered into human history in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, ‘Word become Flesh’, we must take our own humanity seriously along with the whole of creation. In the gospel we find in Jesus the example of fully human living, and it is in the humanity of Jesus that God brings about the restoration of all that was damaged and distorted in a world created good. All people share in the dignity conferred upon the world, seen above all in the incarnation of Christ.

It is in Christ, ‘the image of the invisible God’, that man has been created ‘in the image and likeness’ of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Saviour, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1701

From Tradition

Pope John Paul II based his approach on the Genesis insight that we are made in the image and likeness of God. For Pope John Paul II, human experience, including bodily experience can help reveal God (because we are made in God’s image), while exploring the mystery of God’s life, in turn, reveals to us the meaning of our own lives.

As Pope John Paul II wrote: ‘The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the invisible mystery hidden in God from time immemorial, and thus to be a sign of it’ (John Paul II, Papal Audience, 20 February 1980).

God created man in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26–27): calling him to existence through love, He called him at the same time for love. God is love (1 John 4:8) and in Himself He lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in His own image and continually keeping it in being, God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion (Gaudium et Spes, 12). Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. As an incarnate spirit, that is a soul which expresses itself in a body and a body informed by an immortal spirit, man is called to love in his unified totality. Love includes the human body, and the body is made a sharer in spiritual love.
John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, Part Two, No. 11

  1. What does it mean to be 'made in the image of God'?
  2. Why did the Word become flesh?
  3. What role does Christ play in leaning about our humanity and sexuality?
  4. What role does our human experiences play?
  5. If God is 'mystery', how is this reflected in our human sexuality ?


Spend 10 minutes journalling - How do you reflect the 'Imago Dei'?

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07 December 2021

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Human Sexuality

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