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Engaging the Word – May 31, 2015

utumnOur faith tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Some years ago on a Trinity Sunday I got to thinking about what it means to be made in the image and likeness of a God who is three but one. Of course every attempt to comprehend the Trinity falls short; that’s the nature of a true mystery. We are, however, made to approach this fundamental mystery, entering more and more deeply into relationship with the eternal source and end of our being. Acknowledging the inadequacy of the thoughts that follow, I nonetheless offer them for consideration.

Years ago I worked at a camp where an array of outdoor and leadership skills was taught to young people. One could choose any of the skills for this example, but let’s consider swimming. A young person in the water learning to swim has in his or her imagination the notion of swimming, a picture of swimming. As they make their attempt to swim and splash around, at some moment what they do matches what they intend, and they swim. In the active realization in time of what they imagine, they are overcome with joy, they experience the mystical spark that connects imagination and action, that connects a concept with its articulation. That mystical spark is the animating power that facilitates the dance between our thoughts and behaviors, and it turns out that this may be the truest statement that we can make about human beings: we are free creatures that have intentions and actions connected by mystical spirits that animate our lives.

In baptism we recognize that we are created in the image of the imagination of God, and the actions of God, and the Spirit of God. In this we also recognize that we are free and created in love to receive and share love. In God there is perfect integrity; God’s Will, God’s Word, and God’s Spirit are always in perfect harmony, perfectly integrated. Our challenge as God’s children is to be open to the grace that allows us to attempt to align our intentions with the will of the Father, allows us to align our actions with the life of the Son, and allows us to align our spirits with the Holy Spirit. In the words of the preparatory prayer with which St. Ignatius begins each of his spiritual exercises, let us pray for the grace that “all our intentions, actions, and operations be directed purely to the service and praise of the Divine Majesty.” In striving to unite our wills, our actions, and our spirits to God may we become ever more grateful and generous.

Readings this week:
1st Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Responsorial: Psalms 33: 4-6, 9, 18-20, 22
2nd Reading: Romans 8: 14-17
Gospel: Matthew 28: 16-20

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