4th Sunday of Lent

We are God’s work of art - created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he meant us to live it.

We have a dignity that has been tarnished by sin. But like a work of art that has been restored these days by long, tedious, careful and painstaking means with modern technology and much loving care – great works like that of the famous Sistine chapel which has been restored to its former glory as the artist painted or designed it, with many fascinating and surprising details often coming to light as centuries of exposure to the grime and grease and stains of candle wax give way to clarity once more. We begin to see the original vision and genius of the artist, and a clearer picture of some of his first attempts that were corrected as well.
But even these priceless works of art will continue to need care with the continued exposure to light, flash photography, air and moisture and the environment. We consider the cost worth the effort for future generations to enjoy the creative genius of a Michelangelo or da Vinci.

Even if we look around the wonders of the painstaking craftsmanship of a cathedral and marvel at the idea of the design of those who planned and built the cathedral in Cobh over 40 years, we know it still costs money to provide for its upkeep.
Why is all this talk of art important?

We are God’s work of art - created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he meant us to live it.’ (Eph 2:10)

Original Sin tarnished and damaged the original design and blueprint and intention of our maker. We are God’s work of art. Every man, woman and child has a dignity, value and worth in God’s eyes from the very mere fact of our existence. Our personal sins do more damage, which also must be reversed.

The passion and the cross and resurrection are as it were God’s great restoration project of all humanity! But God has to work on us individually, every generation – every individual here - and we must be open to the process of being cleaned, cleansed and restored.

Few of us look in the mirror with complete satisfaction at our appearance, especially first thing in the morning, we have remedies and formulas at the ready to beautify ourselves or hide blemishes. But often it takes a second opinion to see an unbuttoned collar or shirt, a zip that needs fastening, a stain that must be removed, a wrinkle that must be ironed, asking ‘how do I look?’

Christ is the great restorer of our hearts and souls - and cares for our inner (not outer) appearance by His Body and Blood which He laid down for us. We are washed clean of original sin, chiselled and perfected to our former glory by ongoing restoration work of many years of grace and patient prayer penance and almsgiving and charity. In a particular way in Lent we undergo an annual cleaning, perfecting and examination and by confession and prayer and penance we are restored.

Ultimately each Lent works to help us to last forever – yes into eternity. Our lives are the great project of inner and outer renewal and restoration By Christ.

Let His work continue if it has not already begun in us! Let us be willing putty in His hands.

Let us now at last begin to live the 'good life as He meant us to live it'!

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