September 2, 2011 - Friday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

“Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God.” “No one has seen the Father except Jesus Christ, who is from God; he has seen the Father.” Imagine what God the Father looks like. If you imagined something, it is wrong. There is no image whatsoever that can represent the Father. We sometimes think of God the Father as being the old man with the white beard, but God is a spirit.

When God created the world, he made an image of himself for us to look at when we want to know him. It is us. We are created in his image and likeness, male and female he created us. So each individual person is an image of God, because we are alive and he is alive, because we can think and he can think, but we are more an image of him because we can love and he is love. The family is an image of God: three persons but one God, so also three persons but one family.

None of these images were ever perfect. A family is cannot be truly one the way that God is one. We can think but God knows everything. We are alive but God is life. None of these images were ever perfect, but when we sinned that first time, and every time since, we have smudged and obscured the image so that it can be difficult to see God.

Which is where Jesus comes in. He is the image of the invisible God. He is the perfect image; he is, first of all, the perfection of man. In Jesus Christ we can see the image and likeness of God that is damaged and blurry in each of us as clearly as it was originally intended to be. Here is one who thinks rightly. Here is one who lives well. Here is one who loves with the entire capacity of the human heart.

The link between any symbol and reality is a convention, an agreement of human minds. All language is ultimately arbitrary. Any given word could mean anything at all if we agreed on it. But the link between the human nature of Jesus and the divine person of the Son is perfect and complete: the hypostatic union. If we have a relationship with Jesus, then we have a relationship with God. Jesus is the image of the invisible God because Jesus is the invisible God.