Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48 – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
If that’s not a tall order, I don’t know what is. Just what does Christ mean when He says this? Is He expecting perfection in everything we do, even though we are flawed?
In a word, no. Instead of worldly perfection, Christ calls us to perfect love, the kind of love that transcends every frustration, every bout of anger, and every niggling anxiety. We are called to love in spite of our wounds and because of His wounds, those inflicted during crucifixion and accepted willingly, even for those who sentenced Him to death.
There is no better example than the crucifixion to prove that love isn’t easy. Fortunately our crosses are generally less intense. But they are still real and true to us in our daily lives, and they spur in us a need to actively chose love, just as we mop up the tantrum-tossed Cheerios or pick up the errant socks left lying on the floor. We choose to love those who love us. We must also choose to love those who do not. Like Christ, we must choose to love not in spite of the hurt they might cause but because of it, offering our suffering as a means to sanctification and deeper union with Christ for everyone.
Is there someone you struggle to love? How can you perfect your love for that person, both inwardly and outwardly?
Heavenly Father, You call us to perfect love. Grant us the grace to be perfected in You and for You, and to offer our suffering for the sanctification of souls.
Copyright 2017 Ginny Kochis