Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
This gospel has five verses, and each point in those verses hits me right between my eyes. First I hear children saying, “It’s not fair,” and “But she’s mean,” and “I don’t like him,” in response to being told to love everyone and pray for everyone. Adults may respond in different words but the thought is the same. Let’s face it; it takes work to be kind to everyone. Then I think about the idea that good and bad happens to everyone, not just bad people. But I’d like to focus on the last sentence.
“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Because being perfect is so much easier than being kind, right? Well, no, not really. That verse troubled me because I know I will never be perfect in this earthly life. So why strive for that perfection when it is not attainable? Then I read some explanations of this perfection and it made so much more sense to me and I saw that it is attainable.
Jesus is calling us to be perfect as ourselves. God is perfect in his God-ness; of course he can be nothing less. Jesus is perfect in his Jesus-ness; the Holy Spirit in his Holy Spirit-ness. I am called to be perfect in my Deanna-ness, and you are called to be perfect in your “You-ness.” Each of us is a unique, unrepeatable individual. Each of us is called to be the perfect manifestation of our self. We reach that perfection by following God’s will for our lives.
Spend some time contemplating what God wants of you. Listen to Him and then act on what you learn.
Father, thank you for creating me as a unique person to love and serve you. Guide me to learn who and where I should love and serve. I desire to be perfect not for the sake of perfection, but for your glory. Help me to root out those things which keep me from loving and serving you. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Deanna Bartalini