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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Keeping Up Appearances

"Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them." Mt 6: 28-29

There is a very funny British comedy that airs most weeks on the Public Broadcasting Stations around the country which focuses on a woman who is desperate to impress others with her clothes, her home, her china and her sophistication. As she manipulates her husband to go along with her zany schemes and avoids her less than proper sister and brother-in-law, we are invited to laugh at what happens to us when we are more interested in how others see us than in becoming the people God wants us to be.

Unfortunately, our desire to impress others with our wit, wisdom intelligence, money, power or influence can lead us far from the path of faith. When we allow ourselves to obsess about how others see and experience us, we risk living a lie. Overly concerned with impressing friends and foes with our good life and lifestyle, we wear an unrealistic mask that traps us in perfectionism and often leaves us exhausted.

Jesus is clear when asking us not to worry about appearances and other matters we can't really control. In his day, his disciples were under constant pressure to be "good Jews", and were regularly assailed by leaders who rejected Jesus' interpretation of the law. In the end, Jesus reminds us to stop worrying about how others see and only pay attention to how God views us. When we are committed to those in need, and help those without power, we please God and have no need to worry about the judgments of others.

Today, pray to be yourself before God and others.

What area of life do you still want others to see you as successful?

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