Twenty-fourthSunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.” Scripture reminds us that we are created and made in the image and likeness of God. Meaning, not to simply look like God or simply resemble him but to be like him in attribute, character, and identity. Have you embraced this reality? Have you considered the thought of being formed and conformed to the image and likeness of Christ as beloved Son, servant of God, and slave for the salvation of souls? Have you considered what it means to be created and made in the image and likeness of God as parent, sibling and true friend, confidant, treasure, and gift? Do you resemble God? How do you resemble God? Can God’s image be seen clearly without blurriness in you? Can others experience in and through your words and actions as well as in and through your works and deeds the similarity and likeness your share with God? We hear and say when people spend quality, considerable and substantial time with each other, they begin to resemble each other and can even represent each other in person, complete the other’s thoughts and even finish each other’s sentences. Are you spending quality time with God or are you spending substantial time with his enemy? Our words, your words give us a clue. Our actions, your actions give us away. We say, “The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.” To be in the image and likeness of God requires us to be generously kind and overly charitable in kindness – to be kind to each other. To be the face of God’s mercy and to be mercy itself requires us to be merciful as the Father is merciful, for God who has so mercifully treated us, will continue to be so but only if we are kind and merciful with each other. We hold on very tightly to anger. God forgives and forgets very easily. We choose to remember and hold on tightly to the past. God says, do this in remembrance of me. We choose to embrace the mistakes, shortcomings, failures and sins of others. God simply lets go. We forget to be loving, patient and kind. God cannot forget who he is. We are quick to anger and to becoming angry, short-fused and impatient. God is slow to anger, moved to compassion and quick to heal so “Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven” and you will more readily resemble God.