What is on the inside?

I hate wearing sunscreen.  With it on I feel like an oily mess.  I put it on (most of the time) when I play golf, but if I go to the beach, I prefer instead to sit under an umbrella.  I’m sure I will get myriad of emails outlining the pathetic way I am treating the largest organ in my body – my skin – but I don’t see myself changing.  Unless of course, I could see what is happening on the inside.

A million years ago I smoked cigarettes for a few years until I saw pictures of what smokers’ lungs looked like on the inside. That changed me and I haven’t smoked since.  I guess if I could see what is happening on the micro level under my skin, I might change my habits.  DO the same rules apply to my soul?

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us that, unlike the sun’s rays that can harm our skin from the outside, much of what impacts our soul comes from within.  The challenge that most of us face however, is seeing accurately what is on the inside.  Do we even know what it is to look deep within?

For many, we have not developed the skill of looking inward.  It takes honesty, it takes time, and it often takes the help of an objective other person to spiritually lead us in that quest.  Today’s pace of life does not often cherish that type of vision.  May we look this week at our own ability to examine ourselves deeply on the inside so that we can see the ways in which we are capable of growing closer to Christ as well as those areas that are truly holding us back.

Peace,

Fr. Mike
fr.mike@duke.edu  c. 919-316-8763 / w. 919-684-1882
Follow me on Twitter @TheDukePriest