Two major scriptural themes appear in today’s readings: God has made us in his image, and there are great blessings to receive by keeping his word.
Because God made us in his image, we are indeed “imperishable.” Our souls are eternal. Our essences are spiritual. We reflect God’s capacity to connect with other beings—human and divine. We interact with God, the saints, and creatures on Earth. We reflect God’s loving nature with our ability to love and to have compassion, empathy, and kindness. We create awareness and hope as co-creators with God, doing what we believe is right to build his kingdom here.
God says that whoever loves him will keep his word. Even when we don’t receive immediate gratification for every deed of keeping his word, we at least know we have done what we are obliged to do. Still, it’s usually clear what keeping God’s word means because God has connected with us for millennia through his prophets, his Son, and the Holy Spirit. He has spoken to us directly in his teachings. So, we strive to follow commandments, moral principles, and teachings.
We do our best to reflect God’s nature through listening, mercy, forgiveness, fairness, and working for peace. We love and serve others with humility, especially those in need. We deal with plenty of our personal sufferings, but we do so with love and gladness in our hearts because God nurtures us. And we know this because he stays close to us, takes us in his hands, may choose to rescue us, gives us peace, and blesses us often. Let us count those blessings.
Let us begin each day with gratitude for the image of God’s nature that we share and the pathways to eternal happiness we read about in holy scripture. We are likely to discern truth and understanding through the Holy Spirit. If we look carefully, we may be lucky enough to notice role models around us—a few saints in our midst who are significant co-creators with God.
Jack Dermody is the editor of the CrossRoads bulletin for the Passionist Alumni Association and a member of the Migration Commission for Holy Cross Province. He lives in Glendale, Arizona.