“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them…” -Genesis 1:27

Human dignity. Value. Worth. Life. These are a few of the words which keep coming to the forefront of my mind time and time again as I continue to reflect on recent events in our nation. As I hear and see people speak up and share how this is impacting lives and hearts, I keep going back to how each of us are made in God’s image and likeness. All of us. Not just some. All.

Father Mike Schmitz really brought this point home through his homily I was watching this past weekend and has been helpful in processing my own thoughts and feelings. He spoke on how each of us are made in His image and likeness, and because of this we all have human dignity. Our human dignity can be violated, but it cannot be taken away. Our human dignity can be demeaned, but it cannot be destroyed.  We often don’t live in a way which recognizes the truth that we are ALL made in God’s image and likeness.

How frequently do we see this play through division in conversations, viewpoints, or the way we treat one another? One thing Father Mike cautioned was be aware of the danger of dehumanizing someone. This could be the refusal to see someone, hear someone, or treat someone as human – as someone being made in God’s image and likeness. As humans we might have the temptation to say this person or that person does not deserve dignity, but this just is not God’s truth.

Father Mike shared because we are each made in His image and likeness, we are most fully ourselves when we love like God because God is love. I know this is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when someone has wronged us or someone we love or hurt us in a way that feels unforgivable. But this idea of how we are most fully ourselves when we love like God really struck me.

I pray each of us can dig deep right now to remember who we are and who we were created to be. I pray we also keep this at the forefront of our minds:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13: 34-35