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Home arrow Religion arrow The Theological Roots of Christian Gratitude
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Conclusion

God shares himself with the world: humankind, created “in the image of God,” can choose to follow Christ and gratefully share with the world. The human being does in fact share in the materiality of God’s creation because the body is made of the same material as the world. He or she shares with fellow humans across the ages in their search for meaning and purpose in the world. In so doing, intellectually, morally, and emotionally, they respond to the lure of the world, which they interpret as an expression of God’s presence in the world. More profoundly, as we have seen, all people are capable, in the light of this concern-based perception, of committing themselves. In so doing, we begin to discern the purpose of God in creating and embracing, as far as we can, the values implicit within the world; we become coworkers with God in creation. Such redemptive creating is expressed in political, economic, and social structures for which we are entirely accountable. To be effective, we require knowledge, skill, compassion, justice, and above all, a desire to be one in love with God, with our fellow human beings, and with the world of creation. The professional focuses concern on a person in a particular personal context, inviting him or her to share a common set of values in order that they may together build a future that each desires and that both regard as in their common interest.

There is a wholeness implicit in the gratitude we express to God, to our fellow human beings, and to the world of which we are a part. I shall turn to consideration of this in the following chapter in a discussion of beauty and its relationship with justice. Fundamentally, it concerns celebration and focuses on the Eucharist—a work the community offers, always anticipatory but proleptically complete on each occasion. “The beauty of holiness” is an explicitly Christian theological expression, but it states the perfection of God’s sharing of himself with the world and our grateful sharing with one another in the service of God and the world.

 
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