MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD IN HOLINESS
Indeed how beautiful were the times when Adam and Eve were holy before the fall. But, what happened was that by sin man lost his holiness and accordingly he lost his divine image. Man became captive to a strange duality which still accompanies him: good and evil, lawful and unlawful and what follows that of life and death. Thus, God said to him: “I have set before you today life and good, death and evil… blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that you may live” (Deut 30:15-19). And as man lost his divine image by the loss of holiness, he lost purity and simplicity and also lost the knowledge of his divine image… Then came The Lord Jesus Christ “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15) and returned to us, by His incarnation, the image of God to try and be similar to it…How can the spiritual man reach such image? The beloved St John said:
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked ” (1 Jn 2:6). By this, God selected His saints… to be conformed to the image of “His Son” (Rom 8:29). If man acted up accordingly on earth, our Lord Jesus Christ – in the general resurrection – “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body” (Phil 3:21). As regards the return to the image of God in holiness, the Lord says: “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:45). And again repeated it in (Lev 20:26). Also, St Peter the Apostle adapted the same phrase when he said: “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet 1:15).
And added: “Be holy, for I am holy “ (1 Pet 1:16), namely, return to your divine image… By this holiness we are worthy to partake in the Divine Sacraments… and it is said: “the holies are for the holies.” We call the Mass at which the congregation receives Communion “Liturgy of the Holies”… By holiness, the believers prepare for Holy Communion and also by which they are sanctified. What a beautiful phrase which Samuel the Prophet said to the house of Jesse when he chose David as a King, “Sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice ” (1 Sam 16:5).