Lizada: Appearances

Interesting that the Gospel for Ash Wednesday, the onset of Lent, deals with appearances. It says when you give to alms, do not blow your trumpet. When you pray, go inside. When you fast do not look sad. All appearances. And Jesus tells that all these pretentious acts are done by the Pharisees. And He adds, all hypocrites these people. The word hypocrite has an interesting origin. It means acting. Hypocrisy is acting, showing appearances. Deceptions.

Look at society today. No one has to tell us that appearances are the norm today. Clothes, homes, cars, watches, shoes, and the list goes on endlessly. We are a society consumed by appearances. The more gaudy, the better, it seems. Vanity makes people endure surgery. We literally scramble for the latest phone. We change cars like crazy. And something is wrong here.

Some people have so much money that even if they live a thousand lifetimes their money would not be spent entirely and yet there are thousands, even millions of people who starve every day because they have so little. The imbalance is immoral, diabolical when you consider the obvious.

It stupefies me that there are people who cling to their money like their lives depended on it. That money is the omega, that after that, there is nothing else. But there is something else, something terrifying or glorious depending on how you spend your life here. Our lives are lent. Borrowed. Not ours ultimately but ours temporarily. And appearances are such. Fleeting.

When Alexander the Great was dying he told his generals that when they carry out his dead body to make sure that they see his hands. Wondering why with that odd request, Alexander said I want everyone to see that you cannot carry anything with you when you die. True, but not quite.

We can never bring our luxuries and our yachts and our money. We cannot bring with us all the worldly trappings. Not even the awards and the titles and the positions. But we will carry with us our deeds. Both good and evil. That I am sure are the things that we will carry to our eternal life.

And no amount of appearances will help us when that moment comes. We cannot buy our way to heaven. We cannot boast about our wealth and our bank accounts. And yet because people are people they seem not to care about where they may eventually end up. They live as if there is no eternity. Oh, but there is. And the question is where will we all end up?

Our appearances do not matter. The outward life is corrupt and shallow. The real riches will never be found in the senses. You are looking in the wrong direction if you think you will find peace in the exterior. It will pass you know. All appearances do. You grow old and you wither.

Only your essence is indestructible. Your soul. And the state of our soul is reflective of our deeds.

What does your soul look like? Really?


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