False Images of Ourselves

November 5, 2022
Saturday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today


The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And Jesus said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”  Luke 16:14-15

“God knows the heart!”  What a great truth to be deeply aware of.  So often in life there are misconceptions we have of others and misconceptions that others have about us.  This passage goes to the heart of this tendency of the Pharisees to create a false image of themselves for others to see and to care little about the inner truth that only God is aware of.

So what is more important to you?  What do you prefer?  Are you more concerned about the opinions of others or the truth of your life in the mind of God?

This struggle can go two ways.  On one hand, like the Pharisees, we can strive to present a false persona of ourselves to others while, at the same time, God is fully aware of the truth and is aware of the false image we are trying to portray.  On the other hand, we may find that others have a false image of who we are, which can cause us much hurt.  When this happens, we can be led into anger towards others and tend to irrationally and excessively defend ourselves.  

But what is important?  What should concern us?  The truth is what matters and we should care little about that which God is not concerned about.  We should care only about that which is in the mind of God and what He thinks about us and our lives.  

Reflect, today, upon your tendency to worry about what others think about you.  Know that God wants you to live an honest life by which you present yourself in the truth.  Do not be like the Pharisees who were obsessed with the flattering and false images others had of them.  Worry only about living in the truth and what is in the heart of God and leave the rest to Him.  In the end, that’s all that matters.

Lord, help me to see what is in Your heart and help me to have concern only about how You see me.  I know You love me and I know that You want me to live fully in the truth.  May Your love be the guide of my life in all things.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured image above:  Christ among the Pharisees by Jacob Jordaens, via Wikimedia Commons