The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. (Gen. 2:7).
Our first reading from the Book Genesis on this Sunday directs our attention to the very beginning of our existence; man and woman created in God’s image and likeness to share God’s own life. The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gn. 2:7). We are embodied spirits, and our individual souls are the breath of life given to us by God. This text expresses our anthropology, our understanding of who we are, of who and what the human person is. Anthropology: we are familiar with this word because it is central to our understanding of ourselves. Anthropologies give rise to sociologies that define groupings of people; societies, cultures, nations; and in the world today there are effectively two diametrically opposed views of the world waging war against each other. These two world views are based on two different views of man or anthropologies: one is respectful of the inherent dignity of the human person created by God in His image; the other sees the human person as the product of evolution, part of a collective and for this reason expendable in every way. This war is waged on many different fronts: first and foremost in the world of ideas but also politically, economically, and morally. One could analyse all that has happened to the world in the last two years from this perspective and rightly conclude that those who maintain a biblically based understanding of the human person are on the defensive against those who have as their stated goal the reduction of the human population of the earth, because for them we have no meaning. Ideas have consequences and so do words. What we say about the human person as a starting point determines everything else after that.
During his pontificate, Pope Benedict observed that one of the achievements of the twentieth century was the near total eradication of racism. Critical race theory has all but destroyed this achievement and under this banner Marxist ideologues incite many – especially our young people – to hatred of culture and homeland. What is more, the pandemic of fear has caused many Catholics to forget (if they even knew it – such is the state of religious knowledge) our understanding the true nature of the human person and our ultimate destiny in God. The times are such that if we wish to live with any degree of meaningful purpose, we must be crystal clear that what is most important is the salvation of our souls. Doctrinal confusion begets moral disorder, and vice versa. Our soul is eternal and how we live our lives here on earth determines our eternal destiny. When we live with a view to Heaven our lives are ordered to our ultimate destiny; and as we walk down the path of God’s commandments we learn to use wisely the things of earth and to love the things of Heaven.