- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

February 8, 2017

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

5th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
Genesis 2: 4b-9, 15-17;
Mark 7:14-23

The author of Genesis tells us that God created man in His image and likeness and placed him over the whole of creation. There is one big difference between man and God, however, God has no need of created things to fulfill Him, man, on the other hand, is restive and always looking for something to capture his attention. He has to keep himself busy and prove himself capable. Knowing this, God created paradise, a garden that needed to be tilled and tended. Man was to be the steward of all that God had made. There was a time when man delighted in all that God delighted in and when he applied his talents to bringing forth the fruits of the earth.

Before he fell from grace, man knew that it was in God that he lived and moved and had his true happiness. Before the fall, man knew that he was the product of God’s handiwork and following the example of his Creator, he would use his hands to fashion the earth. The earth was intended to be man’s dwelling place and he was to use his creative genius to master the elements of creation to the glory of his Maker. Before the fall, that was enough. Adam’s happiness came from exerting all his energy in reflecting God’s creative might. Being God’s apprentice, Adam would grow in wisdom and grace. The garden of delight was to bring forth the Holy Mountain where there would be no harm or destruction because the earth would be filled with the knowledge of God (CF. Is. 11:9).

The Lord Jesus came into the world to search out the lost and to reconcile sinners to the Father. Having been raised from the dead, he became the first born of the Kingdom. He has recreated us in His image and Likeness so that the Father would see in us what He sees and loves in the Son. As sons and daughters in the Son, we are meant to reveal the grandeur of God in the world. By using our creative gifts and talents, we can refine the world and elevate it to a higher level of being. Having been created in the image and likeness of God, we human beings are the only creatures capable of connecting created reality with its spiritual source. What would happen if each of us resolved to live as God created us to live throughout the season of lent?