by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Bishop of Broken Bay, Australian Catholic Church
Striving to live well by finding our true image and likeness in God.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139: 1-2; 13-14; 23).
As the Psalmist pondered with wonder on how to live well the mystery of his life, he found his anchor by placing his trust in the knowledge of where he came from; he returned to his graced beginning in God’s image. The Lord’s creative hand had guided his formation in the womb, shaping him in a wonderful way. Like the Psalmist, each and every one of us has been gracefully formed by God in his image. Without exception or equivocation, we are all wonderfully made. This is the truth that anchors all our lives.
It is of our Christian faith to acknowledge that every person, independent of the conditions in which they live, has a unique dignity and a special value from the very beginning of their life. In the mystery of God, it is in the more difficult situations that the dignity and grandeur of being human emerges. This Gospel acknowledgement of inherent goodness, coupled with lived challenges, applies to all of us, whether we are confident in our identity or searching for its meaning; whether our orienting attractions are settled or still in flux. Christians are called to account for the meaning of our own and other people’s lives such that the condition in which any one individual is living their life in God is not disregarded.
While every one of us is blessed with the life we have, none of us are immune from the work involved in living well the lives we have. This, too, was recognised by the Psalmist, who saw that his life needed constant testing and searching – might we say, transfiguring? – in holding fast to God’s image in him. The mystery of our fragilities and vulnerabilities, the puzzlement of our decisions and actions, the recognition of our weaknesses and shadows: these are conditions we are all marked with, in our fallen human state. To live in the way of God is to neither condemn nor excuse, but to love; may we all bring our sexual lives before the cross of Jesus Christ, where the redemption and transfiguration of our lives is offered.
The journey of being sexually attracted to someone of the same sex, or experiencing disassociation from one’s biological identity – whether it is our own journey or the journey of someone we know and love – calls us to constantly return to our shared human origins in God. There can be only one account of being human, not different accounts for different classes of people. Gay, lesbian, transgender and identity questioning people are wonderfully made in the image of God. In a world that seeks conformity to socially engineered agendas, how awe-inspiring it is to know that God sees each of us as wonderfully unique.
As each of us strives and struggles to live well according to our God-given image – to be searched, tested, and known by the God who loves us – may we learn to recognise in each other the original and enduring dignity with which we undertake the journey of our humanity together.
Loving God, you have searched me and you know me, and I have discovered that I am wonderfully made. Thank you for the life you have given me, and given equally to my family, friends, neighbours, and all those I meet on the journey of life. As each of us strives and struggles to live good lives, help each of us to find our true image and likeness in you. Amen.
Watch Who Are You? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQksNmGg0Q
Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October
- A Miracle for Marriage
- Truth to be Exposed
- A Spirit of Repentance in the Church
- Revival and Transformation in our Nation
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