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Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Gen. 1:1-19 & Mk. 6:53-65

Today we begin reading the beautiful poetic account of creation. The purpose of the inspired author, who is thought to be Moses, was not to present a scientific explanation of the origin of the world. His was a religious purpose. Science attempts to unravel the facts of how the world came to be. Genesis presents God as the Creator of all things in a picturesque fashion.

The Israelites were surrounded by pagan people who believed in many and varied gods. Some worshipped the sun or the moon while others believed created entities to be divine. But the Israelites were called to worship the one true God, a personal God of intelligence and love. He was to be worshipped, not His creation, for He was the one who created the sun, the moon and all living things.

Scientific language can at times be cold and lifeless. Poetry is intended to be inspiring and uplifting. The simple, but beautiful account of creation in Genesis should raise our minds and hearts to God Who has given us this magnificent world with its many gifts. From what we see all around us we should be moved to give praise and thanks to God the Creator.

From reading today's Gospel no one can deny that Jesus had reached the heights of popularity. As soon as His whereabouts was known the crowds flocked to Him but He knew that most had come for what they could get from Him. To put it bluntly, we can say they used Jesus. Were there any who had come to give and not to get? Of course it is so natural to come to Jesus to get things from Him, for there are so many things that He alone can give. But it is always a shameful thing to take everything and give nothing, and yet, that is very characteristic of human nature. It happens over and over again.

There are many young people who use their homes as hotels expecting the best food to be served on time, their washing is to be done and even their beds to be made. They can come and go as they please. Some contribute virtually nothing towards the home.

There are people who make use of their friends, only contacting or visiting them when they want something. They literally regard other people as existing to help them in their moments of need and to be forgotten when they cannot be used.

We know only too well of the many people who use the Church: the priest must baptize their children, marry their young people and bury their dead. But will they ever darken the door of the Church otherwise? No. And no one must ever tell them that! The Church just exists to serve them and they have no obligation to put something back into the Church.

Lord Jesus, help us to avoid being someone who uses You, Your Church or other people. May we never be numbered among those who only remember God when we need things from You but our prayers, too, are those of thanksgiving, adoration and love as we carry You in our hearts as true friends should.

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