“The human being is single, unique, and unrepeatable, someone thought of and chosen from eternity, someone called and identified by name.” - St. John Paul II
You are unrepeatable.
Out of the estimated 100 billion people that have lived on earth, there has never been, nor will there ever be, someone like you.
No one who looks exactly like you. No one who smiles like you. No one who cries like you. No one who endures like you do. No one who has had the same life experiences as you. No one who has the exact blend of gifts and talents as you.
The list of your individual uniqueness goes on and on...
Is this not evidence of our Divine Creator? Is His imagination not beyond our comprehension? That He can create over 100 billion completely unique and individual human beings, made in His image and likeness?
In Jeremiah, He tells us He knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb. And in Isaiah He says He will never forget you - you are written on the palm of His hand.
You are not an accident. You are not a clump of cells that just happened to grow into a human being. You are an incredibly unique individual, wonderfully and perfectly made.
You are unrepeatable.
And if you are this unfathomably unique, then that means so is every other human being.
Those who follow a different faith than you. Those with a different skin color than you. Those who are poor. Those who are rich. Those who are disabled. Those who are attracted to the same sex. Those who have experienced an abortion. Those who are conservative and those that are liberal.
Every single person on earth is one in a hundred billion, incredibly unique and designed in His image.
Each and every life is unrepeatable.
And therefore, no one should be discarded. Rather, every human being should be treated with dignity, because they - like you - are a child of God.
Why is this important? Why do we need to stop and remind ourselves of not just our own, but each other’s dignity?
Because especially in today’s world, many people like to preach a gospel of tolerance. But we are not called to tolerate one another. We are called to love one another.
Sounds easy enough…except it’s not at all. People get on our nerves. They annoy us. They anger us. They disappoint us. They hurt us.
Perhaps that’s why it’s easy to follow the ideology of tolerance - it’s much easier to tolerate someone than it is to love them.
But tolerance is not Christianity. Love is Christianity. And love is hard. All we need to do is look at the cross to see how difficult love is. Our Lord was betrayed, beaten, spat upon, kicked, scourged, humiliated, abandoned, ridiculed and nailed to a cross.
He didn’t endure unbearable suffering because he tolerates us. He did it because he loves us.
He did it because he loves you.
And before he entered into His passion, he left us with a new commandment: to love one another as He has loved us. This, He said, is how all will know that we are His disciples.
Loving like Christ demands sacrifice. It demands sharing the truth in love. And it demands risking persecution.
The key to this love is recognizing the dignity and worth of everyone we encounter. Whether it’s a stranger at the grocery store, the driver who cuts us off in traffic or the family member who gets on our nerves, they, like you, are unrepeatable.
Each one of us have been called to life at this particular time in history, to our specific communities and to our individual families..
I am unrepeatable. You are unrepeatable. Everyone we meet today is unrepeatable.
Let’s recognize that in each other so that all will know we are His disciples.