Daily Reflection
February 6th, 2001
Eileen Wirth
Journalism Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of Paul Miki, S.J. and companions
Genesis 1:20--2:4
Psalms 8:4-9
Mark 7:1-13

There’s something humbling about a vast star-filled prairie sky, the Pacific Ocean breaking against a rocky coastline, and the mountains of Colorado. 

Like today’s readings, they remind us of the power and majesty of God’s creation and can cause us to ponder the significance of our lives.  Are we “little less than the angels” with dominion over the wild beasts, or just a small part of God’s very large plan or both? 

Contemplating these root questions leads us to the central message that Jesus teaches in today’s Gospel.  Do we focus so much on trivial and transitory demands (rules/requirements) that we  “disregard God’s commandment and cling to what is human tradition?” 

It’s a matter of keeping things in perspective – of developing an overriding sense of how God wants us to live. 

Sometimes when I’m bogged down in checking off items on a seemingly endless “to do” list, it helps to take 10 minutes to think about what I’d like my obituary to say.  Not one version has led with “attended committee meetings,” “kept her house spotless” or “was a fabulous cook.” 

I strongly suspect that God’s priorities for our lives have more to do with taking time to be kind to others and even (or especially) to ourselves.  Perhaps the most important line in today’s passage from Genesis is “so God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.”

This reminds us that God’s plan for our lives mandates time to rest, and time to think – time to become holy BY getting in touch with Him and our deeper selves. 

So go to the ocean or mountains or a place where you can see the stars or take a walk around your block and enjoy the flora and fauna that God gave us dominion over.  Get in touch with God and yourself even if it means “neglecting” or delaying something you think you should do.

Five years from now, will anyone care if you finished every item on your “to do” list on time? 

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