I’m gonna make a change // For once in my life // It’s gonna feel real good // Gonna make a difference // Gonna make it right
. . . .
I’m starting with the man in the mirror // I’m asking him to change his ways // And no message could have been any clearer // If you want to make the world a better place // Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
I have been a victim of a selfish kind of love // It is time that I realize // That there are some with no home, // not a nickel to loan // Could it really be me, pretending that they’re not alone?
. . . .
I’m starting with the man in the mirror // I’m asking him to change his ways // No message could have been any clearer // If you want to make the world a better place // Take a look at yourself and then make the change // You gotta make it right, while you got the time // You can’t close your mind. (Michael Jackson)
These lyrics from Michael Jackson’s song, “The Man in the Mirror” are in stark contrast from the words in the Gospel [Luke 18:0-14] spoken by the Pharisee —- “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.”
Then, there are the words of the tax collector — standing at a distance, with eyes lowered — who prayed, “O God be merciful to me a sinner.”
In telling the parable, Jesus was addressing those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.
We are being challenged to look within — to honestly examine ourselves. We can pretend to fool ourselves, we can fool others —– we cannot fool God and be something we are not.
It is easy for us to voice the complaint of the majority of Americans —- I do not like either Presidential candidate.
It is easy to name religious leaders who preach and live as if they are “holier than the rest of humanity” — they fight the evil world as if they have overcome the evil within.
It is easy to expect teachers to educate children — while doing little to nothing to reinforce education by doing homework or study with children.
It is easy to expect political leaders to make our communities better —- without having to pay taxes.
Let’s for ONE WEEK — 7 days — focus on the man, the woman, in the mirror — and to be the change we expect —
Could it be that we are pretending we have overcome all obstacles to holiness?
Let’s make it better while we have time. Let’s not close our mind.
God is a God of justice — who shows no favorites. [Sirach 35:12-14]
Good trees bear good fruit — bad trees bear bad fruit, or no fruit.
For one week, let’s make the world a better place by looking at ourselves — the person we see in the mirror several times a day.