Friday, October 20, 2006

28th Friday in Ordinary Time (II)
Inside Out

Readings: Ephesians 1:11-14; Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-136; Luke 12:1-7

Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees – that is, their hypocrisy…

The construction of a building always begins with the foundations and the exterior structure, the outer shell. But that’s not all. After that’s completed there’s also important work to be done on the interior: the laying of water and sewage pipes, electrical wiring, telephone lines… Imagine what would happen if builders only paid attention to continually improving the exterior. We’d get a beautiful building but one that cannot be lived in. And imagine what would happen if we did try to live in such a place: no electricity, so no power; no telephone lines, so no communication; no pipes, so no water; no sewage system, so…

Sounds quite ridiculous, and yet, isn’t this what the Pharisees try to do – to live in a beautiful building in which hardly any interior work has been done? And isn’t it a very real temptation for us too: to build up and polish every exterior aspect of our lives – our education, our careers, our entertainment, even our religious commitments – without doing any interior work? But why might anyone be tempted to do such a ridiculous thing? Is it not because the exterior is what others see. And we don’t want others to think ill of us. We are afraid. So we polish the outside but neglect the inside.

But, as Jesus says in today’s gospel reading, do not be afraid. Do not allow the fear of what other’s might think or say to make us focus only on the externals. Instead God invites us to allow Him to do the impossible for us: to construct our lives from the inside out – from a secure sense of God’s love for us in Christ. In Christ, God invites us first to allow Him to lay the pipes and power lines in our hearts, so that we might build homes that can truly be lived in. For whatever others might think, it is in Christ that we were claimed as God’s own…. You are worth more than hundreds of sparrows…

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