The ECHO (27 Apr 2017)
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You Are Precious
‘So God created human kind in his image, in the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them’ (Gen 1:27, NRSV Lectio Divina Edition)
The Apostle Paul says we are transformed into the image of God (Col. 3:10) and that this image is true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).
Being in the image and likeness of God has always intrigued me. Theologians have debated this issue for a long time. It is not easy to get into the deeper meaning of being in the Image of God in such a short write up. But at the same time I agree with Dick Staub who wrote “When we fully understand what it means to bear God's image, we are at once struck with the grandeur of our possibilities and the tragedy of our unrealized potential.
Some of you must have heard the Story of Rapunzel – a beautiful girl who lives with an old witch in a Tower? The old witch constantly tells her that ‘you are ugly’. Since there is no mirror in the tower she believes it. She can’t see her own beauty, so she remains a prisoner in the tower... a prisoner of her own supposed ugliness – the Witch knew, if Rapunzel is convinced of her own ugliness she will never want to escape from tower.
But one-day prince charming comes riding by on his white horse just as Rapunzel is leaning out of the tower for a breath of fresh air. And prince immediately stops to admire the winsome lass. After an exchange of re-assuring smiles, she throws her long, blond hair out of the window and the prince climbs up on a ladder of her hair into the tower. As two of them are looking in each other’s eyes, admiringly, Rapunzel sees in the eyes of her prince a clear reflection of her own face – she really is a beauty!
Suddenly she is FREE – from witch, from tower, from fear that she is ugly. And so the couple parachutes from tower, lands on prince charming’s white horse and rides off happily into the sunset.
Like Rapunzel, all of us, to some extend are locked inside ourselves, by our fear of ugliness, inferiority and inadequacy – problem of poor self-image.
To be fully human is to fully reflect God's creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative and purposeful capacities, and to do so holistically and synergistically. Furthermore, though all humans possess these, each of us has the potential to express them distinctively, because God's image has been imprinted uniquely on each of us. When we are not attentive to God’s voice, we are going to believe the negative voices around us (projected by media and fashion shows), thus defeating God’s purpose by putting on false images. Look at Jesus, and if we can see His image clearly, we will realize our highest possibilities. Knowing that we are created in God’s image is going to transform us into our true image. The personal prayer and sacraments are our ladder to see Gods image in us and in God’s eyes we will see our true reflection.
May this Easter Season enable us to recognize God’s image within each of us. Praying for you and wishing you God’s best,
Fr Shibu Jacob Msfs [27 Apr 2017]
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[Chair of Parish Pastoral Council - Gunnar Keppel]