The answer is, “God created man, male and female, in His own image and in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, to rule over the other creatures.”
What really jumps out at me when I read this answer is the second phrase, “in his own image.”
Thankfully, our Western culture is built around the foundational idea of the dignity of man. This thought informs our laws and our practice. We think that murder is wrong. We think that individuals have rights that should not be violated. We think that each person should be able to do or become whatever he wishes to be.
The Bible informs us that man’s dignity is a result from his being created in the image of God. The dignity that we have has been conferred on us by our creator.
I see in my country that there is no longer a consensus regarding the source of man’s dignity or even if there is anything special about man at all. This is not surprising when one starts from a naturalistic presupposition. If life is the result of a chance combination of a few proteins which developed through some chance mutations, then it is hard to see man in a different category from the rest of the universe.
But I have yet to meet anyone who held this position who actually lived consistently with it. While we may deny that man is special, we continue to live as though he is. As a society, we strive to eliminate poverty. We provide help to those who have been made homeless by floods, hurricanes and tornados. We create beauty through the arts. We live as though our lives have purpose.
This question in the catechism reminds me that all of our striving for meaning is a result of our being made in the image of God. Jesus affirmed this when he said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).