Every day we put on an image like we put on clothes. We groom an image for our ‘self’ to be well accepted in society. We must be careful what we think; the need to be politically correct compromises our honesty. Deep in us we like to be well-liked, love to be well-loved. The onset of social media has driven this hunger for affirmation into a craving.
We used to send a worded resume for a job, an accompanying photo merely an option, but we send it hoping it will help, especially if we are good looking. These days it is not only about being “good looking” but more so, looking good. So we alter our behavior by allowing it to be influenced by friends and social media, because their opinions count. We change to create a better accepted self-image. For most of us we end up beautiful on the outside, but ugly in the inside.
Unlike clothes which we can easily change, when we yearn for a certain self-image we actually gradually , become that person. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Today’s Gospel). We allow our world to change us, so much so the person we become is in conflict with our created image.
“‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.'”
We are all created in the image and likeness of our Master. We do not need to crave for love because love is in-built into us at our creation. It is natural for this love to flow out of our created image. Grooming a conflicting image of self can sometimes stifle this flow of love out of us to others. There can develop a chasm between who we have become from who we were created to be. When this chasm becomes too wide, we will be ill prepared when the Master comes knocking.
The Master will come knocking. It’s an inevitability, only that we don’t know the timing. We are all created good and loving, no person is born mean. We are born with a purpose; to contribute to the harmony of people living together. This is our responsibility, our God-given employment. We cannot afford to be slacking from this employment by being too preoccupied with worldly treasures. “Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment.”
The Master, when he comes for us, when death from this world calls, must find us “dressed for action”. We dress our self by the things we do. When we do things that stay true to our created image, we become beautiful on the outside and the inside. Our “lamps are lit” when all we do have a positive impact on the lives of others. The more we harmonize, the brighter our lamps.
Life is not a game of chancing and timing. We do not know the hour the Master will come knocking. To be ready we must always be clothe in the purpose of our created image.
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time