I don’t want to alarm you, but there are actually two of me. When God created Father Craig he also created a duplicated. When God created Father Craig, he also created Father Craig’s twin brother, Christopher. It’s true: I have a twin brother. So, if you’re out and about and you see a guy who looks like me with a beautiful wife and two little boys, rest assured that I am not living another life. It’s my twin brother and whatever you do, do not, do not, no matter what sad story he tells you, lend him money.
There is a picture taken several Christmases ago. It is of my grandfather, who is now deceased, my dad, my twin brother, and one of my nephews. What’s interesting about the picture is the striking facial similarity that the four men in the picture share. It’s uncanny really. My dad looks like my grandfather, my brother looks like my dad, my nephew looks like my brother; in the case of our family, there’s no mistaking a Holway man. Not only do they share similar facial features, but not including my nephew, the three of them have a similar gait; my brother says some things the same way my dad does; my dad has this look of curiosity that I remember my grandfather having too. There are a lot of similarities between the four men in that picture.
In our complex, yet beautiful second reading today, Paul’s letter to the Colossians, St. Paul is explaining to the Colossians and to all of us, the true nature of Jesus Christ. At the same time, Paul is teaching us about Jesus’ Identity, His Meaning, and His Mission. Paul tells us that Jesus is the image of invisible God. But that word image is loaded with meaning. From Greek the word is translated into the English word icon, and that means something like to be a copy of the original. But it also means to represent and manifest the original. So what Paul is saying is that if we want to know what God looks like, we have only to look at Jesus. But more than that, if want to know what God is like, we have only to look at Jesus (cf. Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 1). If we want to know what kind of characteristics God has, we only have to look at Jesus because He is not only the image of God; He is God, the second person of the Trinity.
You see, Jesus came into the world because God the Father wanted to make it clear and definitive, that He wants to have a relationship with us now, so that He can enjoy an eternity with us later. And so to prepare our hearts for that eternity he sent Jesus who will help us in the preparation work. Jesus’ mission is to make of us an image of God the Father. Jesus’ mission is to make us like himself. Jesus’ mission is to make us saints.
We believe that the great reality of our baptism is that we are radically configured to be images of Jesus. Sealed at Confirmation and nourished by the Eucharist, that image is renewed in us as we allow Jesus to slowly, steadily, almost imperceptibly, convert us, mold us, join us to himself in a deeper way, so that the Father might see and Love in us, what He sees as loves in His Son. This Eucharist is turning us into another Christ- from the inside out. And the more we receive Him, the more we become like Him.
So, our point for prayer this week. As we go about our week, and as we encounter our life and relationships, as we encounter God in prayer and service, let’s be aware of this great reality: we too are images of God. May our words and actions be like those of the Good Samaritan: full of Love and Kindness. My friends, we are images of God: we are Christians, Beloved Sons and Daughters to God the Father. Our souls are stamped with his Image and Likeness. We pray that this week our words and actions may also be images and likenesses of the words and actions of Jesus. May our words be full of love and kindness; our actions be full of kindness and service for those who are in need. May our prayer be like that of Jesus’: “Father, not my will, but your will be done”(Lk 22:42).
This week, we pray that we may speak kindly, care deeply, love generously and live simply.