Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Sit still…..Relax…….Do not rush………

Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in such quietness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence, solitude, to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.

Let us begin with a prayer in our heart:

Open my eyes Lord, help me to see your face,

Open my eyes Lord, help me to see….

Open my ears Lord, help me to hear your word,

Open my ears Lord, help me to hear….

Open my heart Lord, help me to love like you,

Open my heart Lord, help me to love…..

Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….

Our meditation today is on the dignity of man and woman as God created them. In the beginning, God said: “Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness……God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27) and commissioned him to have “dominion” over the earth…” (Gen. 1:28)

Made in God’s image, we must image God, Participate in the very life and creative activity of God….and share in the governance (dominion) of the earth.

Take a moment….use your imagination…visualize if you can……God, gently, tenderly and patiently at work, creating the heavens and the earth….fashioning us in his own image and commissioning us to share in the governance of the earth!

We are commissioned to participate in God’s life-giving act: must speak life-giving word; show deep concern for life, work for preserving and raising the quality of life…….

We are commissioned to participate in Gods’ life-redeeming/saving act: seek the lost, heal the sick, forgive the sinner, love the enemy………

We are commissioned to participate in God’s Ruling Act: maintaining integrity, wholeness, and harmony, establish just and right relations, work for peace, order and harmony, show concern for the total well-being of humanity……

Reflect on what these directions mean for you in terms of your own personal life, today!

Remember Psalm 8 – You crowned him with glory and honor. (Ps. 8:6) 

The Psalmist invites us to stand in awe and wonder about who and what we are and what the universe is! 

The Psalmist says:    Who are we that you should be mindful of us,

that you should care for us?

You have made us little less than the gods

and crowned us with glory and honor.

You have given us rule over the works of your hands,

putting all things under our feet…” (Psalm 8)

The psalmist affirmed and declared that we occupy an important and unique place in God’s creation, a position of “glory and honor”. God sees us different – the way He made us – “with glory and honor”. In the eyes of our creator, we are worthy of honor, respect, love. We need to share this vision of ourselves. We need to grow into this vision.

BELIEVE THIS: You are crowned with glory and honor! Make this thought your meditation today. Let this thought become yours. Allow this thought to transform your thought patterns. Let it transform your attitudes, your disposition, your vision of yourself and others and the world around you.

Psalm 8: 6 reflects Gen.1:27-28 – God put all things into the hands and the tender care of man and that’s what “dominion” means. The word “dominion” could be translated “governance”. This word is paralleled with what we find in Gen. 1:16-18 where God sets the sun to “govern” the day and the moon to govern the night…….

Reflect on your role in the “governance” of the universe……

I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made (Ps.139:14)!

God has carefully created us and has given us all the tools we need to manage our lives with creativity and dignity. Reflect on “being made fearfully, wonderfully”; meditate on these words, dwell on them for some time – draw strength from the words.

God has created us greater and stronger and more creative than we often believe ourselves to be. We have an inherent ability to expand/develop our physical, mental and spiritual abilities, boundaries, gifts, powers and talents.

How weighty are your design, O God! (Psalm 139:17)

Believe in this ability! You might want to remember them, dwell on them and draw strength from them the next time you feel overwhelmed and under-equipped.

Just when we feel we have no more strength to get through another day, the strength we need emerges. Just when we feel that we have no more energy to deal with the anxiety, the pain and the disappointments of life, more energy flows from within us.

Just when we feel more indecisive and uncertain, greater decision making powers and certainty of purpose emerges from within us. Just when we feel “nobody cares, nobody loves”, there comes someone to whom we say; “nobody cares, nobody loves”.

I have often heard people say, “nobody cares” in the midst of feelings of being alone, lonely, discouraged and disappointments……..and I am there to hear it!

Almighty God has crowded miracles into you. Why not let them come forth and live? (Norman Vincent Peale)

Meditate, Reflect and pray over the Blessings, the Gifts, the Miracles and the Mysteries in you that you need to affirm and nurture.

In the beginning God said, it is not good for man to be alone. So God formed all creatures and brought them to man so that he may name them. He couldn’t name even a single one of them to stand with him. Then God made the woman out of the same substance as man and brought her to the man. Then the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”

God made man and woman out of the same substance, in God’s image and likeness and the two became one in God’s image. What a wonderful way to describe the dignity of man and woman and the communion to which they are called!

Meditate on this thought for some time. Cary this thought in your heart for a while!

The Pharisees asked Jesus a question to test him and to trick him to say something that would offend the leaders of the time. The question of the Pharisee was about what the law permitted (Mark 10:2-16). The response of Jesus was about God’s way, God’s plan, God’s intent, and the very heart of God. Jesus took the question from social or legal requirement to God’s intent and purpose. It is about man and woman being made in God’s image and brought into communion with God and each other. It is about treating women with deep respect and not throw them out as commodities with a “writ” of separation. It is about God’s ways as different from man’s ways.

How wonderful it is to listen to Jesus calling us again to be deeply respectful of all God’s people, men, women and children. Reflect on the dignity of all God’s people and all God’s creatures and creation.

Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs