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Image and Likeness

Catholic MassI teach RCIA and the phrase that we are created in the image and likeness of God is one I use frequently.  In fact last years group would chime in as soon as I said "We are made...".  It's important.

Last Tuesday, I was teaching about the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession, Penance, Shrift).  I was trying to emphasize the safety aspect of the sacrament, that a priest was never able to communicate with anyone else what he heard in the confessional.

Someone asked "Not even murder?"  Another "Or child abuse?".  No, not even those.  Why is it so hard to imagine that a criminal, too, might need a safe place to unburden?  He or she is also created in the image and likeness of God.  

God has the image of a criminal?

Yes!  We have  a God who reduced Himself to a helpless baby who was placed in a crib intended for animal food.  Instead, He became our food.  Is this what one expects from a god?  Not usually.  But there is no other God than ours, and this is what He did.

He also hung on a cross.  The Romans considered Him a criminal.  The Jews thought He was a blasphemer.  But this was our God.  A convicted criminal...