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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

James Webb Space Telescope (Under the Fig Tree Part 25)

A hermit observing the world from his cave

The world of science and especially astronomy (astrophysics) is agog with images being

shown that were taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the world’s premier

space science observatory, launched just December of 2021. It is the most powerful so far,

designed to conduct infrared astronomy, and is expected to solve mysteries in our solar system and look beyond to distant worlds around other stars.

We know that the universe is vast, and is continually expanding. The observable universe is

93 billion light-years in diameter. Now we will be able to see even farther. How awesome God’s creation truly is. Against the backdrop of such vast cosmic darkness is the earth, a mere infinitesimal speck, certainly not even at the center of it all. In the vastness of the universe, we are like nothing.

But then, here is the more awesome truth. The God who created the universe also created

us, and we, though not at the center of the universe, are at the center of His creation. To God we are everything. David, without benefit of a JWST, was awed: “When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place—what is man that you are mindful of him, and a son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a god, crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:4-6).

Seeing our nothingness, this should strip us of pride, which is now so dominant in

humankind due to scientific and technological advances. We are even trying to be God,

tampering with DNA and building humanlike AI robots. And pride leads to foolishness and

destruction. See how we are destroying God’s creational design, as for example trying to make men women and women men.

On the other hand, we cannot plunge into despair in seeing our nothingness compared to

the universe, as this shows even more how important and central we are to God’s plan. Indeed, God’s very own Son became man. “In the beginning was the Word, …. and the Word became flesh” (John 1:1a,14a). The vast universe cannot contain God, who is its Creator. But God can be contained in a small host, which in Holy Communion enters into our very own bodies. Oh the mystery of it all!

Why did God create such a vast universe? The more vast it is, the more insignificant we are.

But as we realize how truly vast the created universe is, the more we must appreciate God’s

great love for us.

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