Last night I was noticing how dirty our Mary statue had become again. We painted it last summer, and cleaned it up again in the Fall. But it has become really dirty again. It sits under a tree near some other bushes and the like. All of that probably gets sprayed onto the statue.
But I was also thinking, as I was walking the dog this morning, the saints were folks who were not afraid to get dirty. Even our great intellectual saints were most likely least concerned about their pristine appearance, and more focused on the truth of the Gospel. The men and women who focused on the Good News would not have time for the latest fashions or finery. I like to look at parents as examples of unselfish love. Here we have people who swallow hard to clean dirty diapers, wipe dirty faces, and clean up all sorts of food mess, as they center on the more important aspects of raising children.
And isn't that what the Eucharist calls us to be about. At the Last Supper Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. He reminds them that what he is doing, we must do for one another. I have sometimes thought this would make a nice 'sign of peace' gesture at mass. Wash each others feet. There is an intimate connection between this action of foot-washing and Eucharistic celebration.
Doing Christian life is a messy action. The Gospels tell us that it is no walk in the park. To proclaim good news is a lot of hard work. We have the saints and holy men and women to be models and guides in this endeavor.