Genesis 1: 20- 2:4
Mark 7:1-13


“Let us make humans in “our own image.” As we get into the working phase of the year, God’s word takes us back to the beginning to remind us just who we are and where we should place the emphasis of our living.  We are reminded in this wonderful overview of each and all the parts that make up this amazing universe to pause, to be silent and to say thanks. “God saw all that was, and indeed it was very good.” And so we begin this day with a fresh chance to hear once more God’s vote of confidence in each of us.

Our response then comes naturally as we remember: “Lord our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth.”

In this gospel scene from Mark, we meet the usual suspects – Pharisees and scribes. Mark tells us that they gathered around Jesus. But their eyes are not really on Jesus. They “noticed” that some of his disciples were not washing their hands before eating. This draws the sigh from Jesus: “These people honour me only with lip service, while their hearts are far from me.”

Our creation story invites us to look with wonder, to contemplate. This incident with Jesus tells me that it’s easy to lose our vision, to take our eyes off the centre prize and, instead, to look judgingly at the perimeter.

And so we are led to pray thus: “Lord, you’ve established these created things to ‘sustain us in our frailty’. So let’s see if we can let our eyes wander and to recover a sense of wonder to make our heart, indeed our soul, to sing.

We are given fresh eyes to see anew the wonder of life of which, along with every other person and created bit, we are part. We pray may ‘’these created things” become for us now the sacrament of eternal life. Perhaps God’s word is telling us that the world will speak, but only if we are ready to listen! Jesus walks now not along the rocky shore of the Galilee lake but into the very heart of our lives today.

Fr. Kevin Dance CP is the vicar of the St.Brigid’s Retreat, Marrickville. He is very actively involved in ministries locally and at Passionist International where he served as the Executive Director for many years.