Created in the Image and Likeness of God

Image of God

As his masterwork, humans were created by God in his own image and likeness, also known as Imago Dei.

The image of God does not refer to a physical resemblance but to the fact that man shares many of God’s characteristics.

Man has an immortal and rational soul. With intelligence and will, man can create, worship, make decisions, communicate, and relate to God and to one another.

Being created in the image and likeness of God provides every man with equal dignity. He is a spiritual person and not simply a thing.

While man was made in the image of God, Jesus is the actual image of God, the perfection of human nature.

Every human being bears the image of God:

Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth. God created mankind in his image; in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

Genesis 1: 26-27

It’s what makes humans different:

Different from other animals:

The pinnacle of God’s creation:

Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer Him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 357

An image that is not physical:

Jesus is the image of the invisible God:

The life which God offers to man is a gift by which God shares something of Himself with his creature. Israel would ponder at length the meaning of this particular bond between man and God. The Book of Sirach too recognizes that God, in creating human beings, “endowed them with strength like his own, and made them in his own image”. The biblical author sees as part of this image not only man’s dominion over the world but also those spiritual faculties which are distinctively human, such as reason, discernment between good and evil, and free will: “He filled them with knowledge and understanding, and showed them good and evil”. The ability to attain truth and freedom are human prerogatives inasmuch as man is created in the image of his Creator, God who is true and just. Man alone, among all visible creatures, is “capable of knowing and loving his Creator”. The life which God bestows upon man is much more than mere existence in time. It is a drive towards fullness of life; it is the seed of an existence which transcends the very limits of time: “For God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity”.

Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, March 25, 1995

Knowing and loving like God:

Reflecting what God is:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Providing help and creating hope:

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