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O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! — Psalm 8:2
Mass Readings: Genesis 1:20-2:4 / Mark 7:1-13
At the tender age of 9, a wealthy Sudanese girl was kidnapped by slave-traders. Ironically, they named her Bakhita (meaning lucky). After years of being traded in the slave-market, an Italian consul purchased Bakhita, with the intention of freeing her.
Today’s first reading reminds us that we’re created in the divine image. Rich or poor, male or female, slave or free, we all bear the image of our Creator. It is this — and not wealth, position, or power — that invests in each of us an intrinsic and incomparable worth. Surely that compassionate Italian consul recognized and respected the image of God in a poor slave-girl. Josephine Bakhita embraced Christianity in 1890, and later became a nun. She devoted her life to serving the poor — recognizing, in turn, the same divine image in the suffering ones.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me to treat all people with respect and honor.
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