Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What is Inside?

October 11, 2011

Tuesday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. (Romans1:19-20)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands. (Psalm 19:2)

The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? (Luke 11:38-40)

Piety

Lord, remind me always that I am created for you and will not be complete without you. Open my senses that I may see, smell, touch and taste you in all that you have created and now surround me. Fill me with awareness of your awesome divinity and boundless love. Soften my heart that I might hear and live in you, connected to your creation in my brothers and sisters.

Study

Have you ever looked at the book: “Eat This Not That!”? Looking through it might cause you to plant a garden and break out your grandmother’s old pressure cooker in order to grow and prepare your own, fit food. This fascinating book looks at ingredients and nutrition in thousands of popular restaurant foods. Could you believe that a seemingly healthy Applebee’s grilled shrimp ‘n spinach salad lugs more than 940 calories and 62 grams of fat into your system? Or that the grilled chicken and swiss sandwich at Outback Steakhouse comes in at 1,104 calories with 58 grams of fat and 1482 mg of sodium? There are enough calories in each meal for an entire day. I won’t even talk about pizza, burgers or ice cream. Can you believe that we eat this stuff? When I’m out for a huge (frankly gluttonous) dinner I justify it by taking part of it home for the next day. Truthfully, it would be sinful to throw away.

The footnote to Paul’s letter to the Romans in the NAB points out that God moves toward us in each moment of history. God is not pleased with “misdirected piety (which) serves as a fa├žade for self-interest” and that “…instead of curbing people’s evil interests, God abandoned them to self-indulgence, thereby removing the facade of apparent conformity to the divine will.”

God sees through the facades we put up. As Jesus says, God makes the outside as well as the inside. We are a church-going nation. We must also be a nation starved for something which we look for in overindulgent eating. And accumulating things. Are we not paying attention to the inside, where God resides in each one of us?

Action

The truth about self-interest and self indulgence is as St. Augustine said: "(GOD), You have made us and directed us toward yourself and our heart is restless until we rest in you." Are we aware of where our desires are directed? Are they directed toward God and show God’s glory as we act upon them? How do they impact God’s creation – nature and other humans? Do my desires come before God and impede me living Christ-like? What is inside? What can you do about it right now?