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Sunday 22th

Ordinary time 29/8/2021 year B Mk 7, 1-8;14-15; 21-23

St James writes “the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls.” (I:21)

There is an ancient story that has been handed down from generation to generation: - Every time a child is born, an angel takes it under its wing and whispers divine secrets into its heart and soul. The angel speaks about the wonderful attributes of its divine origin and fills its soul with the many mysteries of heaven. When the child is born and begins to grow, the angel's message remains buried in the depths of its heart, evoking an infinite yearning in its soul. And so, the child moves through life with a haunting memory and a longing to discover those hallowed truths once known but now forgotten. And, we spend our lives searching for those inner truths, those inner mysteries, about God, about ourselves and about the world in which we live.

Augustine of Hippo’s journey of discovery took him to different religions until he finally rediscovered his Christian roots and returned home. Once converted, he spent the rest of his life telling people of his discoveries. Being made in the image of God means that we have within us the wherewithal to discover the wonderful mysteries of God that will inspire, challenge, sustain and support us in our lives. The laws of God, the Commandments, the laws of the Church were all written to help guide us in our discoveries so as not to go wrong or be misled. Baptism is the time when the seeds of faith within us are watered and begin to grow. The sacraments provide the help needed for the growth of our faith. Jesus shows us today that laws in themselves are of little value without the Spirit of God working within us. We are made temples of the Spirit in Baptism. The Spirit lives within us always but will not work against our consent, although the Spirit will try hard to open doors for us. When the rules, commandments and laws become more important than the Spirit they were meant to portray, we have lost our way as Jesus so rightly says.

When God created the world,

the light and the darkness, and all the living things,

God couldn’t wait to create the first human being to tend and care for his creation.

God did not spend days or even hours pondering what kind of creature to make,

how many arms or legs, how many eyes.

No, the first human being just spilled out from God’s infinite love.

And the story goes that

God was so impressed with this newly-formed creature

that he needed the seventh day just sit back and reflect on the beauty, the life, the freedom and the love it expressed.

In fact, God was so impressed with the first human being

that he wanted to become one himself.

When human beings kept turning away from the friendship, the love, the joy, the riches and the wisdom God wanted to shower on them,

and, when they began to destroy creation and each other, God decided to act.

So, God sent Jesus not just to experience what he had made

but so that these human beings, made in the image and likeness of God,

would discover the true wisdom, love and beauty

rooted in the core of their being, their true selves.

· I lost my job as a stage designer. I left without making a scene.

· I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough.

· I lost my girlfriend's audiobook, and now I'll never hear the end of it.

by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a


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