Today’s first reading for Mass is the continuation of the creation account from the Book of Genesis. (Genesis 1: 20 – 2: 4)Today, we hear of that marvelous, creative act of God in which He makes man.  I have long felt in the depths of my bones that if more people came to understand this one truth of the human person, many of the challenges our society faces today would simply vanish from the face of the earth.

God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.

Every human person comes forth from the loving hand of God.  Every human person bears the Divine image.  Every human person because he or she is stamped with the image of God has a dignity deserving of respect.  Every human person is drawn from the fruitful life of God and shares in the divine life, and is therefore holy, and sacred.

Would that every person recognize this love God bears us.  Would that every person recognize how precious he or she is in God’s sight.  Would that each of us recognize in one another the same sacredness and dignity.  Would that every human person recognize the dignity that is theirs, and live accordingly.

In today’s Gospel, (Mark 7:1-13)  Jesus takes to task the Pharisees and scribes for being too preoccupied with their human precepts, so much so that they fail to see the greater truth about God and the human person.  For such failures to love, Jesus says to them:

This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.  You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition. … How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!”

Let us pray for open hearts today to hear again the truth of God who instructs us regarding the truth of the human person.  Let us examine our own hearts and lives for ways in which we have not lived up to the beauty of the dignity that is ours.  Then, let us pray for the grace to accept this dignity of human life and proceed wherever conversion may lead us.

Let us pray today for those who make the laws and interpret the laws of our land.  For our legislators and justices and all who hold executive offices.  Let us pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten them regarding the fundamental truth of the human person, that they may come to greater clarity regarding the dignity and sanctity of every human life.  May the Lord grant them the wisdom to recognize where our laws have ‘set aside’ God’s commandments.  At the same time, may God grant them the humility and courage to correct these laws.

Let us pray for the grace today that every human person may know how precious and loved they are in the sight of God!