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Humanizing God, divinizing man

March 4, 2023

THE amazing gospel story of the Transfiguration of the Lord (cfr. Mt 17,1-9) reminds us that in the end Christian life involves a dual process of how to humanize God and at the same time, how to divinize man.

And that’s because if Christ was transfigured, with his face shining like the sun and his clothes becoming white as light, we can expect ourselves to be so transfigured also, since we are actually patterned after him. We have some basis to conclude that the ultimate condition of our life in heaven would look like that of the transfigured Christ.

For this to take place, we have to follow the example of Our Lady whose faith enabled her to conceive the very Son of God in her womb. She made God man. And we can also say – and this is not a gratuitous affirmation – that God wants to be born in each one of us, to be incarnated in each one of us, precisely because we are meant to be his image and likeness, sharers of his divine life and nature.

That God wants to be one with us can be supported by the fact that God became man to recover us from our state of alienation from him. He gave his all for this to happen and continues to do so up to now and till the end of time. Not only did he become man, he also assumed all the sins of men without committing them, conquering them ultimately with his passion, death and resurrection.

For us to incarnate God in us, we should try our best to have the same faith as that of Mary, that faith that was described at one point by her cousin, Elizabeth, in these words: “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Lk 1,45) It’s a faith that shows total and unconditional belief in everything God tells us through Christ and now through the Church as always inspired by the Holy Spirit.

To which, Mary responded with her Magnificat that expressed what she glorified the most in her life: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” (Lk 1,46-47) We should also glorify the Lord in that way.

With God wanting to be born and incarnated in us, we now have to learn how to divinize our humanity. And for this, Christ offers us “the way, the truth and the life.”

Christ not only showed us the way of how to handle our human condition here on earth, nor did he only teach us the whole truth about ourselves. He also instituted the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, so that his very own life, which is both human and divine, could also be possessed by us.

We have to do our best to follow the very teaching and life of Christ. Our faith in him should not only be a matter of profession, intention and nice words. It should be expressed in deeds in a consistent and abiding manner. As St. James said in his Letter, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (2,14)

When we follow Christ and Mary, we can develop a taste and even an appetite for the supernatural life with God and of things supernatural in general. We would be on our way to our own transfiguration and be like God himself in our ultimate home in heaven since we are children of his!

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