8th FEBRUARY 2023

Genesis - Beauty in the Details - Wilderness Wonderings



Gn 2: 4-9, 15-17;      Ps 104: 1-2, 27-30;      Mk 7: 14-23


In the first reading today, we have the second account of creation. When God made man from the clay of the earth, he breathed into him the breath of life. The breath of God is the Holy Spirit through whom we get our life. God’s very own spirit vivifies our being making us truly alive. Saint Irenaeus says, “The glory of God is man fully alive…”. The mark of God’s spirit within us also ensures that we are created in the image and likeness of God. (cf. Gen 1:27). Because of original sin, the image of God within is tarnished. It is not destroyed; it can be restored, if only we cooperate with the Holy Spirit. To regain that state of original innocence should be our mission. A person in the state of original innocence, in whom the image and likeness of God shine forth is truly fully alive. He/she is the glory of God. God has created you and me to be the praise of His glory. (cf. Eph 1:12)

If the glory of God is a person fully alive, what would be the glory of man? The above-mentioned quote from Saint Irenaeus continues, “…but the life of man is the vision of God.” It is to this end that we are created by God. To enjoy the vision of God or the beatific vision is to see God face to face in heaven (cf. 1 Cor 13:12). Only the pure in heart can experience the beatific vision (cf. Mt 5:8).

A person who is pure in heart, is in the state of original innocence, when the image of God is fully restored in him/ her. Such a person becomes completely like God (cf. 1Jn 3:2). To reach this state we need to be purified from all that Jesus mentions in the Gospel passage today. Our purification begins here on earth. If this purification is not complete before we die, it continues in purgatory until we become perfect. There are very few souls, says St. John of the Cross who enter heaven directly. Let us earnestly beseech the Lord to purify us on earth so that we may not be detained in purgatory.

Response: Bless the Lord, O my soul!

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