COR THOUGHTS 260: Creation and Redemption are Marital Realities

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There is much that John Paul II’s Theology of the Body can help us understand in this weekend’s readings, but I will limit my thoughts to this one, critical passage: “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17). What does it mean to be a “new creation in Christ”? It means that the God who created us through the natural means of the union of our parents has re-created us (redeemed us) through the supernatural means of the union of Christ and the Church. And this means that both our creation and our re-creation (redemption) are “marital” or “nuptial” realities. We are made through the natural marriage of man and woman and we are remade through the supernatural marriage of Christ and the Church. The order of the new creation draws from the order of the old and even “clothes itself,” Saint John Paul tells us, “in the figure and form of the primordial sacrament” (TOB 97:2). Marriage is that “primordial sacrament” – the fundamental, first, and original proclamation and revelation of God’s mystery in the world. While we have all inherited the certainty of death from our natural parents, through the gift of Baptism, we have inherited the possibility of eternal life through our supernatural parents: God our Father and the Church our Mother. These are the “new things” that have come.