God’s Love of Humanity
For God loved human beings, on account of whom he made the world, to whom he subordinated all things on the earth, to whom he gave reason and mind, whom alone he inclined to look above to himself, whom he made from his own image, to whom "he sent his one and only Son" [1 John 4:9], to whom he promised the kingdom in heaven and will give it to those who love him. When you have this full knowledge, consider how it will fill you with joy! How you will love the One who first loved you so much! By loving, you will become an imitator of his goodness. And do not marvel that a human being can become an imitator of God. It is possible, if God wills. To be happy does not mean that one dominates neighbors, wishes to have more than the weak, is wealthy, or has the power to compel those in need. We cannot imitate God in these ways, for these things are outside his majesty. Whoever takes up the burden of a neighbor, wishes to do good to someone who is worse off than he is, or supplies whatever things he has from God to those in need and becomes a god to those who receive—this one is an imitator of God.
Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus 10. 2-6
Inheriting Wisdom, ed. Everett Fergusion
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