By Fr. Adolf Washington –
Have you counted how many times you look at yourself in the mirror every day? When you pose for a click, don’t you try to give the best looks? When your picture doesn’t come out well don’t you try to do some editing to stretch a smile or add a tone to your picture? You walk into a hair salon or beauty parlor and you have a choice of sample pictures that offer you ‘look good opportunity’. Have you seen people look at themselves in a vehicles’ mirror when the traffic lights go red, sometimes even with the helmets on.
We all want to look good, decent and presentable whether we are heading to meet someone we love, for a public appearance, an office meeting, an interview, a photo shoot or a party. When we look good to our own satisfaction, we feel confident even if others may probably think otherwise.
Jesus shares a parable of a man who entered a place of worship feeling good both from outside and within and even wanted God to know he was good enough and even better than others. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector (behind me). I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ (Luke 18:9-14)
Jesus says, the man who beat his breast accepting his frailty and sinfulness, went home more justified than the one who had a wrong self-image.
Masks are easily available but they can’t cheat on God. When you are in a place of worship The Lord himself wants to be your mirror for “God created mankind in His own image” (Genesis 1:27) and wants you to reflect that image by your life.
The next time you stand before a mirror, take stock. Are you reflecting the image of God in your thoughts, your words and actions? When you do, people will love you more. Take off the mask.