Formation - 5 May 2018

en - The Eschatology of Creation

Marie Claire Isifi, R.A.
“… the whole of Creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons…..Creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God” (Romans 8, 19-21).

These verses from the Letter to the Romans place us before the reality of Creation’s groaning in one great act of giving birth as it awaits its full deliverance. These verses are also a very explicit statement of hope for a definitive liberation of the whole of Creation by Christ, King of the Universe and Savior of all Creation who will place everything in the hands of the Father once all things have been subjected to him. This process of liberation, total and definitive, finds its source and sense in the mystery of Christ, in his incarnation and in his death and resurrection. But what God has established for humanity and all Creation comes about too, through the life and action of the Church and of people of good will.
1 The incarnation, the event that inaugurates the restoration and the divinization of humanity and Creation

The Incarnation – mystery of the Word made flesh, taking on the body and face of a human being – demonstrates the same project of love as was at the origin of Creation. It constitutes a bridge between God and humanity, and between God and the created world. Through it God is able to restore humanity and the whole of Creation. “Creation is a process that takes place throughout the history of the created world.” This unfolding is the way to an experience of the vision of the reality of God and the created world. It also shows the final goal of Creation. In effect, it is “the coming of Jesus which offers us the greatest revelation concerning the significance and reason for Creation and each stage gives us more understanding of the finality of the world, and with greater clarity, its reason.” In fact then, Incarnation gives the world and its history all its sense. And the process of restoration goes along with a recognition of our identity : “heirs of God, coheirs with Christ and sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory” (Romans 8, 17). We are children of God committed with Christ to a new life.

Everything is like “Creation waiting with eager longing, the revelation of the children of God” (Romans 8, 19) ; humanity too is groaning and hoping for this liberation. This will happen by a certain death. Marie Eugénie writes, “the creature must die to make room for Jesus Christ.” This is the way the life of the Word sprouts and grows in the Christian soul. It is there that one finds the pattern of all sanctity. The Word develops in persons who are able to receive and accept the life of divine beauty, wisdom, goodness and gentleness within. Then they can exclaim “O splendor of divine beauty, if I empty myself, pour yourself out within me.” The more human beings make a place for the Word in their lives, the more they are filled. Without doubt it is in this sense that we are able to repeat with Marie Eugénie : “my total dependence on Jesus Christ is the secret chain of my liberty.” Dependence on Jesus Christ in all our actions, living in him and by him will necessarily lead us to a restored and liberated humanity.

In our being, in all Creation, it is possible to read an expression of transcendence. For Christians this transcendence has a name, a face. Better still, in the person of Christ it has become flesh. It is in this sense that beauty is an expression of the incarnate Word, and we see how the gaze of this incarnate Word illumines all things and enables the discovery of all things which are true, good and beautiful. The word contains all things with in himself and brings all things to their fulfilment, returns them to their original beauty, for “through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of all human beings" (John 1, 3-4).

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