Read Genesis 1:20-2:4, Ps. 8:4-9, Mark 7:1-13

“So, God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:27-28)

We are made in the image and likeness of God. Being in God’s image and likeness means that we resemble God just as photocopies resemble the original. It is a privilege to be a human being. Reflection on the wonder of our creation should evoke a sense of gratitude in us.

One of the ways we resemble God is our capacity to will something into existence, that is, to create out of nothing. Just as God imagined the world before creation and then spoke it into existence, we have the power to imagine things and speak them into existence.

An architect who has never seen a particular type of building can imagine it, draw it and then supervise the building, that is, bring it into existence. The same goes for virtually all the wonderful technological inventions we have around us. These things did not always exist, humans created them.

Man’s ability to create is a direct consequence of the blessing of God. Soon after creating man, God blessed him saying “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” The good news is that even after the fall of Adam and Eve, this blessing was not nullified.

Another way we resemble God is through the power of our tongue. As God spoke the world into existence, we have what it takes to speak things into being. This is basically what happens when we pray. It is not enough for us to simply say what we feel like, we must say it with faith. Jesus says: “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) 

From this story of creation, we can see that man is at the apex of God’s creation. God was happy with what He had made. God was fulfilled, He could rest on the seventh day because there was nothing more important than humankind.

Having been created in God’s image and likeness, only God knows how best we ought to live. Hence, He gave us the manual of life, that is, the commandments. These instructions are not restrictions on our freedom but the key to enjoying life to the fullest. We must therefore trust God and follow his commandments rather than mere human traditions.

This is what Jesus challenges us to do in our Gospel passage. Be pure in heart, immoral thoughts, words, and actions destroy you from the inside. Just as living in a dirty environment can destroy a person, the immoral mind is deadly. 

God said: “Honour your Father and your Mother so that your days may be long on the earth.” There is no justification whatsoever for anyone to refuse to take care of their parents when he or she has the means to do so. 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help me to be more and more like you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of week 5 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 1:20-2:4, Ps. 8:4-9, Mark 7:1-13).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu