In today’s first reading (Genesis 1: 20 – 2:4), we find the passage:
…God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.’
…God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God, he created him, male and female, he created them.
Cardinal Cardijn made this clear to young workers.
“Young workers must always be faced with the great truth of the eternal destiny of the mass of young workers. How often have I cried out at mass meetings: You are not machines, beasts of burden, slaves; you are human beings, with an eternal destiny, a divine origin, a divine purpose. You are sons of God, partners with God, you are heirs of God; this is true, not only for a select few but for the masses and the whole of the working class, without exception.”
Cardijn (1945) A YCW of the masses to the scale of the world
The world today is better than it was in the past. Despite the systemic environmental degradation, the quality of life of billions is improving. Yet, billions are also suffering.
The abundance of God’s creation is insufficient for the wants of many. This imbalance between the desires of a significant population against the needs of others desecrates and violates the truth that all humans are created in the image and likeness of God.
Pat’s reflection on 4 February 2023 captures this imbalance in rich and abundant Australia.
Do I/we believe in today’s first reading — that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore we are all equal no matter what our station in life is?
Do I/we believe in Cardijn’s exhortation that we are not machines, beasts of burden, slaves … to employers, to consumerism, to materialism, to an ideology…
Do I/we believe that i/we are children of God, partners with God, and heirs of God?
If I/we believe in today’s first reading and in Cardijn’s exhortation:
- What could I/we do not to become a slave to an employer, to an ideology, to consumerism, or to materialism?
- What could I/we do to help those suffering from injustices that deprive them of their humanity?