October 15, 2015
ORDINARY 29 (B)
Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.
– Mark 10: 44.
Several youngsters were in a crowded theater waiting for the movie to begin. One young man went to the refreshment counter for popcorn, but as he came back down the aisle the lights went out & the movie began. He continued down the darkened aisle scanning the audience, looking for his seat. Finally, in total frustration, he stopped & asked in a loud voice, “Does anybody recognize me?”
One of the consistent themes of Scripture is that God recognizes us. More specifically, he recognizes His own image which He has implanted within each of us. We humans do a lot to deface that image, even to the point of virtual unrecognizability. Nevertheless, God continues to recognize the divine spark within us however much we may have done to extinguish it. This may be why God does not give up on us even when we give up on ourselves. It is the reason why we Christians are called to serve others, especially those abandoned by society as “untouchables.” Mother Teresa embodies that call as have all the saints throughout the ages.
Being in the image of God does not mean we look like God, that we are little models or copies of God since God has no physical attributes like we do; but that we are made to “image” God, to reflect in our lives the life of God Himself. What does this mean? It is not a matter of how we are formed or shaped, but how we love unconditionally & sacrificially. It means being able to go to the cross even for those who put us there.
The biblical writers tell us that it possible to position our lives so as to actually reflect God’s life & God’s glory, & that this is what makes us fully human. This means, among other things, giving the same acceptance to others that God gives to us, which is not always easy to do.
A young man frequently took a blind friend on long walks. He would describe interesting sights, including some of the people passing by. One day a very beautiful young woman approached, & he began describing her. As she passed by, the young man turned his head so he could keep his eyes on her. Whereupon he walked straight into a sign post. When his blind companion heard the crash, he said, “Here, take my arm before you hurt yourself.”
“I did not come to be served, but to serve,” said Jesus. “Follow me & I will put you in a position to reflect God’s image. Here, take my arm before you hurt yourself.” AMEN!