In just a few verses, the Book of Genesis paints a profound picture of man. He’s set above all the other animals; he possesses the power of language; he’s a subject in the eyes of God, not an object; and he has free will—the ability to choose his own course of action.

Genesis 1 says that man was created in the image of God. In Genesis 2, he becomes the subject of a covenant with God. A person is meant to be a partner of God. He must discern and choose between right and wrong, life and death. Among all living creatures of the visible world, man alone has been chosen for communion with God. Every human person has a unique, exclusive, unrepeatable relationship with God himself.

Formed from the dust of the ground, man is a physical being—a body among bodies. He participates in the visible world, tilling the ground and transforming his environment into a human habitat, through his body. At the same time, the body is the sign of man’s solitude. Man becomes aware that he’s a person through the body.

Looking at all the animals, Adam might have concluded that he was one of them. But he didn’t. Significantly, he concluded that he was alone.

Later, when Eve is created, Adam understands—as soon as he lays eyes on her—that men and women are fundamentally alike, yet different in complementary ways. Before she even speaks a word, Eve’s body reveals all this and more.

The body reveals the person. This phrase tells us all there is to know about the body. Science can examine our flesh in minute detail, down to our cells and even our DNA. But no amount of scientific exploration can replace the truth that our bodies reveal us, giving form to our innermost being and unique personality. Our bodies are sacramental—they make the invisible visible.

Originally posted 2019-05-21 12:23:54.