In “My Fair Lady” Professor Higgins complained, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man. Straightening up their hair is all they ever do. Why can’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?” Of course, Higgins was more of a mess than the women he criticized, but he does draw our attention to what Jesus spoke about in today’s Gospel. It isn’t so necessary for us to be well groomed, or for us to stick to our diets, or for us to speak like ladies and gentlemen. What we really need to do is to keep our minds free of bad thoughts.
In third year high school we had a half hour a day when we sat in the chapel listening to an older student reading from a book on Christian behavior. From where I sat on the end of the pew the rectangular patterns down the terrazzo aisle had the same shape as pool tables. I would sit there mentally practicing bank shots on the nearest rectangle
Then, once I happened to listen to what the boy was reading. The passage said that we need not let our minds wander all over the place. It said we could, and should, control our thinking. We could keep out hateful, jealous, lustful thoughts.It had never occurred to me that we could police our minds. Not only can we do that, but ccording to Jesus in today’s Gospel we must do that. If we rid our minds of evil we can become the kind of good respectable men who don’t hang out around pool halls.