Reflection for Sunday, January 27, 2019

Paul Robson sj

A verse from Psalm 104 states: “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Another translation puts it this way: “How varied are your works, LORD!” This verse suggests that it is not only the beauty of creation which reveals God’s love and goodness, but also the variety of creation. Or, to put it another way, part of the beauty of God’s creation is its variety.

Among these creatures of God, let us focus for a moment on people. We human beings are not all alike – and that is a good thing! Different people have different gifts, different personalities, and also different challenges and limitations. People who are different from each other can help each other and complement each other.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul writes: “If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?” Obviously, the body needs ears and not just eyes. (Having said that, there are people who lack eyesight or lack hearing, and they too form part of the beautiful variety of a community.) Likewise, our communities need a variety of people, for a good life together.

A challenge that perhaps all of us face is the temptation to compare ourselves with others. Am I somehow better than someone else, or worse? Now, it is true that we can learn from others, and can try to adopt good qualities that we see in others. At the same time, let us consider and thank God for the unique and wonderful creation that each of us is – where none of us is perfect, where all are loved by God, and where each of us is blessed in our own unique way.

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