Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis during this Year of Faith, we now reflect on the Creed’s description of God as “Creator of heaven and earth”. In the work of creation, God is seen as the almighty Father who by his eternal Word brings into existence a universe of goodness, harmony and beauty.
The world thus has meaning as a part of the divine plan, a plan which in a special way embraces man and woman as the culmination of God’s creative activity. The Scriptures teach us that man was created in the image and likeness of God, formed from the dust of the earth. Here we see the basis not only of the unity of the human family but also of our inviolable human dignity.
We also see something of the mystery of man as a finite creature called to a sublime role in God’s eternal plan. The tragedy of Adam’s sin, by falsifying our original relationship with God, has affected our relationship with one another and the world itself. Through the saving obedience of Christ, the new Adam, God himself has justified us and enabled us to live in freedom as his beloved sons and daughters.
I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland and the United States. May your visit to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul inspire you never to place anything before the love of Christ. Upon all of you, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace.