Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

Sanctified Humanity

As Christians, we believe that God became man in Jesus Christ who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. While such an article of faith is already pinned at the back of our heads, I cannot help but wonder at the great and merciful action of God in stooping down to the level of man. What is so special about us humans with all our warts and scars? Or is it that we haven’t truly seen our full worth that’s why we act like we’re all warts and scars?

The birth of the Virgin Mary is celebrated in the Church because it highlights the Incarnation. Jesus Christ was born from a human mother, who herself was born, traditionally known, to Joachim and Anne. Her birth acts as the “dawn” signaling the rising of the sun, the birth of the Savior. All these happenings were carefully orchestrated by the Father, arranged in such a way as to fully reveal to us Himself in the baby Jesus. The Supreme Artist and Tactician, carefully spread out His plans, chose Mary, played along with human contingencies, and humbled Himself by becoming man. At the heart of this great and woven tapestry is our humanity.

Humanity has been accused of self-indulgence and narcissism. Once again, even in the story of the Incarnation, man is at the center? Or is he? From the beginning of the biblical story, God has been depicted as the Creator who made a creature in His image and likeness. This creature sabotaged himself and the whole Bible speaks of how the Creator has painstakingly saving the creation that bore His image and likeness. We have here a merciful God who goes to any lengths to reclaim what is rightfully His.

God acts in such a way that in saving man, He involves humanity itself. It is not an action that comes from outside, a deus ex machina, that suddenly saves the day. God acts through and within man. So He chose a baby girl and prepared for her the vocation of being the Mother of God, preparing her by bestowing upon her the foretaste of the salvation won at the Cross, when she was born Immaculate. He chose to be born in a kingly but sinful family, allowed human conditions to play its part in the birth of the savior: that Mary is placed in a dilemma in her motherhood facing the prospect of death, that Jesus is born into a human family in a human society. The Savior is to be born into a human culture, immersed in human exigencies. Jesus was Jewish, a man of color, poor, shaped and conditioned by our humanity.

It stands to speak of how humanity was saved not by the flick of the fingers, nay, not even by pronouncement as in the creation story, “Let there be salvation for man,” but through a God who enters into the story of our humanity. Indeed, God is Immanuel, God-with-us. He has dwelt inside our very skin and embraced the experience of being human, only to tell us that salvation is not about escaping our humanity but embracing it. In becoming more human we become divine, as Divinity Himself sanctified our humanity. We are not passive recipients of God’s saving action, we have become partners with God, who works with us and through us.

When other Christians reject Mary for fear of idolatry, one should rather see that God has made use one of the most sacred part of being human: motherhood. We all have a special and sacred bond with our mothers. God knew that, and used it to bestow humanity to Jesus, but also raised it when Jesus said, “behold your mother!” The mother-child relationship between Mary and Jesus was not exclusive to them but extended to the bigger, and mystical, body of Jesus which is the Church. The Church has faithfully celebrated the sublime marriage between divine and human, because, after all, this marriage is will of the God who stooped to our level.

Humanity is sanctified because God took it upon Himself. All things human has been blessed because Jesus lived and shared our human experiences. Our human relationships – fatherhood, motherhood, childhood, has taken on divine dimensions. Jesus the new Adam, was the immaculate Son. Mary the new Eve, was the immaculate mother. In the same way that they were born as redeemed and renewed creation, so are we, as a Church, saved, by being redeemed and renewed every day as sanctified humanity.


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Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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