“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” // Matthew 13:52
I need to clean out my fridge. I’ve been needing to clean it out for some time. I won’t even say how long. It’s mortifying. But with three children, ages three and under, some household duties go on the back burner. And while they do, mold grows.
Not everything in my fridge is moldy, of course. Some items are fresh and fine. A few more, I’m not sure about. I’ll pull those items out and see if they pass the smell test. What’s good can go back into the fridge. What’s bad will go out with the trash.
This purging of food is a practice as old as history. Jesus even talks about it in a parable, referencing the “head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old” (Matthew 13:52).
It’s a homey, domestic parable until you realize the food stores are a metaphor for our souls. Jesus is calling us to examine the good and the bad in our hearts, the old ideas and sinful habits to which we cling.
Unfortunately, I have plenty of those: my judgmental spirit, which forms fast opinions about others’ hearts; my vanity, which spends far too much time worrying about strangers’ opinions; my anger, which flares fast and hot in the face of situations I cannot control; my foolish pride, which expects perfection from my imperfect self.
All of that has to go, for in Heaven, there can be no dirty fridges. There can be no dirty souls. Only the holy can stand before God. Everything in us not of God must be cast out, either here in this life, through our efforts, made effective by grace, or in Purgatory, through passive suffering.
The saints say here is better. Here, we can do more to detach ourselves from sin. And the sooner we let go of that sin, the sooner we can know the fullness of joy that comes with life in Christ and trust, like the Psalmist, that, “I will sing praise to my God while I live” (Psalm 146:1).
It can be painful to take an honest look at the less than beautiful parts of your heart. But look you must. Each night, do an honest assessment of how well you’ve loved God and others, and each morning beg Christ for the grace to love better. Clean the fridge now, so you can truly rest in Him later.Clean the fridge now, so you can truly rest in Him later. // Emily Stimpson Chapman Click To Tweet