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I’ve been reflecting recently on 1 Samuel 16: 7. The passage where Samuel anoints David king of Israel and God says, “The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” I got me wondering how often we become enamored with things.

We grade people by appearance [1-10]. We judge people by their clothes. We even assign people value by the job they hold. God, however, looks at none of those things. He looks at our hearts.

When I sit in church, do I look at how parishioners are dressed and sneer? Do I think they should dress differently? Do I think I should?

Usually, I would rather wear a t-shirt than a polo, but I wear a polo. Why? Sometimes it’s because I don’t want people to stumble by judging me for wearing “just a t-shirt”. Sometimes it’s because it seems “appropriate”. Sometimes it’s because I feel like I should make a “sacrifice” and give up wearing what I want to wear and wear something a bit nicer to church.

In the end, though, does it really matter? If I’m wearing an expensive, three piece suit, but my mind wanders during the readings and the homily and I don’t participate fully, does it make a difference? Outwardly, I may look the part. I’ve dressed to the nines in order to present myself to Jesus, but my mind isn’t focused on Him.

If I wear a tattered shirt and ripped jeans, but my mind and heart are completely absorbed in the celebration, do my clothes matter?