View all Novenas | April 12, 2021
DAY 1 – CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE
"God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
Reflection & novena prayers written by Jennifer Ristine and illustrated by Danielle Storey.
When I sit upon the shores of the Sea of Galilee, I cannot help imagine what went through the heart of Mary Magdalene as she too sat upon the sand many years ago. The scene feels something like this: the rhythmic lapping of the sea upon the shore, the wind rustling the tall seagrass, the blue-domed sky with wisps of white cloud formations, the multitude of birds flitting about, and the majestic hills standing upon the shoreline beyond.
The beauty of nature has a nostalgic effect, giving the sense that you are one among many people over centuries who have tapped into a fundamental truth as they sat upon these same shores. All of this is a gift, created for me. But none of it compares to the great gift of life, open to an eternal horizon; I, who stand in a unique place in creation, am called to enter into friendship with my Creator (CCC 355).
While all creation glorifies God, the grass, clouds, water, and hills cannot know God. The birds do not consciously choose to love God. I alone, as a human person, made in God’s image, am invited to participate in God’s own life. I possess within me the potential of a loving and faith-filled acceptance of that graced covenant and all that it entails, or of slighting the hand of God by attempting to live apart from the inherent vocation to which I am called: loving communion with God and others.
No matter what condition or circumstances life’s trajectory has dealt us, we cannot shake our fundamental dignity. No past, present, or future event or choice can change our identity as a pinnacle creation of God, made in his image. At times this truth is a faint beacon that sustains hope. Perhaps Mary Magdalene experienced this on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, helping her to maintain hope of a new and better life beyond her “seven demons.”
Heavenly Father, you have created us out of love and for love. Let the truth of our dignity echo deeply in our hearts. Help us to live according to this identity in your beloved image. Come to the aid of those who struggle with a sense of identity and purpose in life. May they discover you as a loving Father who invites them to life-giving communion with you and others. Teach us to reach out in a spirit of communion to all we encounter in our daily life, reflecting the love you have for each one of your children. Amen.
St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us.
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