8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Look to yourself. What am I like. I like that image of a sieve shaken. What’s left when all the rubbish is shaken away. What is the true me. The heart of me. What am I really like. Jesus gives a very practical example check to see that the very fault I see so clearly in others isn’t actually in me.
This is a really good lesson or guide for lent which begins on Wednesday. Lent is a time to give up some of the things we use to hide our real selves, to mask our faults not only so that others don’t notice them but so that we don’t notice them either, thinking perhaps that if i hide my faults from others and from myself then I won’t feel the need to fix them.
Too much television, too much cake, too much alcohol, almost anything can all hide things that need be sorted out. But just as dangerous, if not worse, not saying many prayers, not giving time to prayer, never going to confession, even missing weekly mass. That’s worse because I’m not just hiding from myself, I’m trying to hide from God. Frightened of what he might reveal to me.
Why it’s all so sad is that what we are hiding from ourselves isn’t my failures or that I’m horrible, hiding from God isn’t cause he will tell us we’re sinners and no good.
What lent, giving things up, spending more time in prayer, going to confession is about is revealing that we are immortal, we are loved by God, we are special and beautiful and wonderful. Don’t hide that. Don’t be frightened of that.
I must plan now, Lent begins on Wednesday. I will accept the ashes and plan when I am going to confession, what I am going to give up, what I am going to do, so that God can reveal to me how special, how loved I am and what possibilities I have.