Refelction on Pope John Paul Ii Christian Anthropology

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness"...So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.   Genesis 1:26a, 27. This is a fundamental truth, but many of us question the meaning of “Man is the image of God”.

It is very difficult to explain, but essentially it entails the idea that image is not to be found in the structure of human personality or in our functions or relationships, but rather is a goal. Being created in the image of God is not a state or condition but a movement with a goal. God sent us in this world to have our own purpose and to find purpose.

We are an image, in the sense that we are a 'reflection' of God.   Like our reflection in a mirror, the image is not an exact duplicate of ourselves, but it resembles us.   It is not us in the mirror, but a likeness.   We have qualities, reflected in finite terms, of the God who created us.   This gift to us is a tremendous gift, and it enables us to seek and to commune with Him. But we have also had a nature to us that is unique.   We have been given the gift of God's image, and this is evident in our ability to reflect some of the traits of God.  

God is supreme over all.   He placed us a little lower, and gave us dominion over all other living things.   He is Spirit, and we have the notion of a spirit within us, that gives us self awareness and enables deeper needs such as love, relationships, etc.   He is life, and He gave us life, in a mortal sense.   It will end, and this issue, perhaps over all the others, draws us toward the life giver.   He is the Standard of the universe, and He has placed into us a sense of this.   Our sense of right and wrong, happy and sad, purpose and non-purpose all reflect the universal standard.

When we realize the importance of this gift of God, we realize the significance we have in His sight.   We are indeed the crowning achievement of His creation.   The fact that He entrusted to us a...