“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

We move along just a bit further into the Sermon on the Mount for today’s gospel reading (Mt 5:43-48).  Jesus’ teaching, in speaking to His disciples, finds its key in these words: “[L]ove your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you…” (v. 44)  A difficult command that Jesus does not water down, but rather ramps up with His final words today, found introducing this post.  It is not uncommon to hear someone (like ourselves) say “Nobody’s perfect” when a mistake is made or a wrong committed.  It is easy to let ourselves off the hook by considering our own fallen human nature and the difficulty of doing right even most of the time.  But Jesus calls us to something higher.  And He never commands us to do something impossible.  Now it’s true that being impeccable is impossible for us on our own, but with God’s grace all things are possible (cf. Mt 19:26 and ask Jesus’ mother [Lk 1:28]).  So we must continue to pray to become more and more open to that gift of grace that God so desires to bestow on us through the elimination of sin in our lives.  Regular (at least daily) examination of conscience, increasing familiarity with Scripture and Church teaching, and regular (at least monthly) Confession will certainly (even if more slowly then we’d like) help us on our path to holiness.

 

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