It is interesting that we end the current stretch of Ordinary time in the Office of Readings with St. Anthanasius writing about the Wisdom of God. His explanation of Wisdom, as revealed in the Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 8: 1-5, 12-36) is a wonderful treatise on how God has revealed himself in the created order. The medieval theologians were quick to point out that we can come to know that God exists just from thinking and reasoning about the natural world. We may not know much about God from natural philosophy, but we can only come to conclude he exists if we honestly think about all that is around us. Revelation, especially in the person of Jesus Christ, brings us a fullness of understanding.
Here is an excerpt from St. Anthanasius’ Discourses Against the Arians (Disc. 2, 78. 81-82; PG 26, 311.319) my translation to English:
“The Wisdom of God manifested himself and the Father through his own image, impressed on all created things. Because of this fact, one can say Wisdom was created. Consequently, that same Wisdom, who is the Word, became flesh, as St. John affirmed. He destroyed death and freed all humankind; he clearly manifested himself, and by means of himself he manifested the Father, from whence comes his words: I wish ‘that they come to know you, the one true God, and he whom he has sent, Jesus Christ.’ (John 17:3)”
God is not created. God did not create his divine Son or the Holy Spirit. The Trinity exists from all eternity. “To be” is in the very nature of God. Yet, as St. Anthanasius says, God has left his image in his creation. We recognize his Wisdom in all he created. In that sense, the divine image is created; his Wisdom came to be. His divine Son, Jesus Christ did take on human flesh, become a man, took our human nature. In his divine person, Jesus the Wisdom of God is uncreated and eternal; in his human nature, he took on all our characteristics, except sin.
In short, God’s presence, his Wisdom which is imprinted on all he has created, should remind us of just how beautiful our world really is; how marvelous is all of creation; how much we need to care for and be good stewards of the natural world.